BB-8 | South Carolina Aquarium


Dec 15


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Arrival Date: November 27, 2016

Stranding Location: Barnstable, Massachusetts

Weight: 6 pounds

Lifestage: Juvenile

Case History

This juvenile green sea turtle arrived at the New England Aquarium with a core body temperature of only 43.2° F and a heart rate of just 6 bpm. Radiographs showed evidence of pneumonia so  s/he was started on antibiotics, fluids and vitamins. After spending a few weeks at New England Aquarium, the patient was deemed stable enough for transport and was flown down to the Lowcountry for additional rehabilitation.


BB-8 was one of 5 green sea turtles that made their way down to the Lowcountry for some TLC. S/he was given fluids, and started on an injectable antibiotic. This rolly-polly green sea turtle is in good body condition and slightly resembles his/her namesake BB-8!


December 10, 2016: BB-8 is doing well and is definitely a good eater. S/he has taken quickly to the various veggies being offered and makes sure not to miss even the tiniest of fish scraps.

January 6, 2017: Staff discovered a fractured humerus in his/her left front flipper. BB-8 is now being handled as minimally as possible to allow the fracture to heal. Somewhat surprisingly, this injury has not had any impact on BB-8’s appetite! S/he still eats any kind of green we offer and never has any problems eating the prescribed vitamins.

February 7, 2017: The space between the bones in the fracture has increased, however, this is not indicative of worsening. The fracture goes through several stages of healing. The first stage is the formation of tissue around the fracture which is not visible on radiographs. BB-8 has not stopped using the flipper nor has he/she stopped eating! Dr. Boylan does monthly radiographs to track the progress of the fracture.

March 1, 2017: BB-8 was pulled last week for a quick radiograph to monitor how his/her fracture is healing. Overall, BB-8 is using the left front flipper normally, loves greens and is very active. The fracture will heal with time.

April 3, 2017: BB-8 is receiving monthly radiographs to monitor the fracture on the left front flipper. Overall, radiographs show that the fracture is healing, but it will be several months before it will be completely stable. BB-8 loves his/her veggies and eats like a champ!

May 5, 2017: BB-8’s humeral fracture on the left front flipper is showing signs of improvement! Recent radiographs show that the fracture is starting to fuse back together! BB-8 will continue to receive routine radiographs to monitor the healing progress.

May 19, 2017: Earlier this month, BB-8 received a CT scan to check on the healing progress of the left front flipper. BB-8’s fracture has come along and is healing well. In preparation for release, BB-8 received a physical exam by Dr. Shane Boylan, a blood draw and also received a PIT tag under the skin. BB-8 may be a release candidate in the next few weeks pending blood results.

Release Date

May 31, 2017

Release Location

Folly Beach County Park

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