Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Arrival Date: 11/29/2021
Weight: 1.80 kg (3.96 lbs)
Ana stranded on Ryder Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts due to cold stunning. They were transported to the New England Aquarium they received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. After a few days at the New England Aquarium, Turtles Fly Too pilot, Ed Filangeri, and co-pilot, Glenn Knoblach, picked up over 40 sea turtles and flew them to rehabilitation facilities in North Carolina, Georgia and to us at the South Carolina Aquarium. It truly takes a village to rehabilitate sea turtles!
Ana was one of eight sea turtles transported to us from the New England Aquarium for treatment. Ana stranded only a few days before transport, so their body temperature was checked after they were loaded into the turtle ambulance, along with their heart rate and breathing. Like Elsa, Ana did great during the transport, and their body temperature was in the lower 60s. We made sure to set our exam room to a lower temperature to avoid a drastic rise in body temperature during the admit process. Ana had a normal heart rate and was very active during the admit process! They received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. The vet team took x-rays, pulled bloodwork and conducted a full physical exam. Overall, Ana was in good shape! We then left Ana to rest comfortably in a foam-padded bin in the hallway and slowly increased their body temperature so we could move them to a tank in the ICU.
December 9, 2021: Since admit, Ana was one of the first patients to start eating right away! We were able to start her on a weighted diet a few days after admit. Ana is still receiving antibiotic injections to help prevent any opportunistic infections, like pneumonia, from brewing. We are slowing increasing their water level as they get stronger. Ana shares a divided tank with Elsa!
January 15, 2022: Ana has been doing well over the past month! They began eating and defecating right away, which are always good to see after admit. Ana is no longer on any antibiotics and doing well otherwise. We are just giving them time to gain weight, improve their bloodwork values and recover from the impacts of cold stunning.
February 15, 2022: Ana has been a model patient thus far; they’re eating well, defecating often and gaining weight. Sea Turtle Care Center™ staff changes up the enrichment in each tank every so often. Love is an open tank for Ana as well as their favorite piece of enrichment: a cube made out of PVC! They are almost always seen resting inside of it or getting in a good back scratch.
March 15, 2022: Recently, Ana was pulled for bloodwork and tagging to be evaluated for release! We hope Ana will pass all of the required parameters, and we can release them soon. If Ana passes the exams, we will likely release them out-of-state where the waters are warmer.
April 5, 2022: The ocean is “an open door” for Ana because they were released today! Ana returned home after being in rehab at the Sea Turtle Care Center for five months. They were released at Little Talbot Island State Park in Florida because the local water temperatures this time of year are still too cold.