Stranding Location: Seabrook Island, SC
Arrival Date: 08/31/2014
Weight: 2.9 kg (~6 lb.)
A young Kemp’s ridley caught on recreational hook-and-line fishing gear, the fourth we’ve treated this year, arrived on Labor Day weekend just hours after we admitted both a green sea turtle (see Bailey’s page) and a Kemp’s ridley with boat strike injuries. Luckily, a quick health assessment showed that, other than a circle hook seated in the back of the mouth, this little turtle was in otherwise decent health.
Named “Seabrook” after his stranding location, this juvenile ridley was in good spirits upon arrival at our hospital at 8 P.M. Sunday night. Staff quickly processed his blood work to assess his internal health and hydration status and administered fluids and antibiotics. Since Seabrook was stable, we let him rest quietly on foam in a small bin while we continued intensive treatments on our two boat-strike victims. At 1 A.M. Monday morning, our vet sedated Seabrook and began the hook removal procedure. Although the removal was complicated by the circle hook, which is more difficult than a “J” hook to remove, Seabrook was soon in recovery and doing well.
9 September 2014: Seabrook was swimming well on his own in a filtered tank the day following his hook removal procedure. However, he stubbornly refused to eat the tasty mackerel and smelt we offered him daily until yesterday, when he finally devoured two smelt (a calcium-rich food source). Although it is not unusual for sea turtles to refuse fish when they are first admitted, they usually don’t wait quite so long to eat! We are hopeful that this ridley’s appetite will remain strong and he will be able to return to the ocean in the near future.
13 November 2014: In hopeful preparation for Seabrook’s impending release back into the wild, we worked with SCDNR yesterday to pull blood and tag this little ridley. Staff are very satisfied with Seabrook’s overall behavior and the results of his physical exam, but our vet won’t be able to officially clear him for release until we receive blood work results back from the lab. Pinckney may also be medically cleared soon as well, so be sure to check out his patient page!