Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: St. Pierre’s Creek, between Bailey and Edisto Island, SC
Arrival Date: 3/31/2021
Weight: 6.6. lbs (3.1 kgs)
Amber was found floating and struggling to dive in St. Pierre’s Creek in between Bailey and Edisto Islands. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was contacted and SCDNR coordinator, Michelle Pate, promptly retrieved and transported this little green to us for further treatment.
Upon arrival to the Sea Turtle Care Center™ (STCC), Amber was very lethargic and covered in a good amount of epibionts (hair algae, barnacles, ect.) growing on her carapace (top shell) and plastron (bottom shell). She received a CT, weight, blood pull and was started on fluid therapy and antibiotics. Dr. Shane did a CT scan on her to look for the presence of gas in her body, which may have been causing her float. After triage, we placed her in a small kiddie pool that we attached to her tank to allow her be in super shallow, filtered water to decompress for the night.
April 7, 2021: Amber was very quiet for the first day or two that she was in our care. We started offering food, and she is eating really well on her own. She also loves her lettuce! We are closely monitoring her fecals for any plastics, or other foreign bodies, that may be passing through her GI tract.
April 15, 2021: Since our last update Amber is doing great! She is still on antibiotics and we are slowly increasing her diet and water depth. A lot of the barnacles and other epibionts have fallen off of her carapace and plastron (top and bottom shell). We will continue to monitor her defecations for any foreign bodies, such as plastics and other marine debris.
May 15, 2021: Amber has officially finished her antibiotics and is doing pretty good! She is still not defecating as frequently as we like to see, so we are monitoring that closely. Amber is VERY picky about her vitamins and the way her lettuce is put in the tank, so she keeps us busy during her feedings. Two weeks ago, Amber was moved up to Tank 1 on the first floor, so be sure to stop by to check her out next time you visit the Aquarium!
June 15, 2021: She is much improved and in the smooth-sailing stage of rehabilitation. Her defecations have become much more regular, so now she is finally eating a full diet! You can find her enjoying her seagrass or hula-hoop enrichment in Tank 1 in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery. She spends much of her time resting in the center of her seagrass enrichment. This is a natural behavior, as green sea turtles like to hide in grasses or reefs. It is a good sign that she is feeling relaxed and comfortable enough to be able to act as she would in the wild.
July 15, 2021: Amber was tagged this week and evaluated for potential release! Amber has been thriving the past few months and is almost ready to return to the big blue. Our veterinarians took blood and did a physical exam on her to make sure there are no issues. It will take a week or two before we get all of the bloodwork results back, so until then come see Amber in Tank 1 in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery!
August 5, 2021: Amber was released on August 5 at Grice Cove in Charleston, South Carolina! Wish her luck out in the big blue!