Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Seabrook Island, SC
Arrival Date: 9/10/2021
Weight: 3.02 kg (6.6 lbs)
Aventurine was hooked by a fisher in the evening on September 10, 2021. The fisher pulled Aventurine up onto the sand, cut the line and called the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Permit holder, Josh Shilke, responded to the call and picked up Aventurine from the beach. The fisher and Josh were unable to remove the hook with the tools they had available. The fisher knew the hook was a massive circle hook. The fisher gave Josh a clean version of the hook that they had been using, so our vet staff could refer to it before removing the hook at the Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC). Meredith Bean, SCDNR Technician, transported Aventurine from Seabrook Island to the Care Center, arriving around 8 p.m.
Aventurine was active upon arrival and wasn’t in terrible body condition, besides being a bit on the thin side. Care Center staff took blood, a heart rate, monitored their respiration rate and took radiographs. The hook was pretty deep in Aventurine’s throat and, was so large, we were unsure that removal through the mouth was the best option. Once the bloodwork processed, we saw that Aventurine was stressed and had moderate to severe metabolic acidosis. Due to this result, Aventurine was not a candidate for surgery on the night of their admit. So staff put them into a tank to rest through the weekend until we could do surgery on Monday morning.
September 13, 2021: Yesterday, Aventurine underwent hook removal surgery. It took about two hours from the time the sedation meds went in to when they were reversed after surgery. The hook was very deep and so large that it was quite difficult for Dr. Shane Boylan to remove. Thankfully, it was removed successfully and Aventurine was monitored for 24 hours, alternating between being on a ventilator and staff manually breathing for them. Some patients can take a long time to fully recover from the effects of anesthesia, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles tend to have a more difficult time with anesthesia recovery. Send good thoughts, prayers, or vibes to Aventurine so that they may make a safe recovery these next few days!
September 15, 2021: Aventurine was on a ventilator with staff checking on them throughout the night. The following morning, Aventurine was extubated but still not breathing on their own without stimulation, so they were reintubated with staff breathing for them using an ambu bag. A little later in the morning, Dr. Shane wanted to try Aventurine in the water to see if that would help wake them up and get them to start breathing on their own. Thankfully, Aventurine started swimming right away and was able to fully recover. A little while later, Aventurine appeared to be tired out. We placed Aventurine in a floating kiddie pool secured to the side of the tank so they could rest in shallow water. Aventurine will likely be spending the next few days resting