Botany | South Carolina Aquarium


Jun 04


Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: In-Water Capture in Botany Bay, SC

Arrival Date: 05/29/2015

Age: Juvenile

Weight: 49.4 kg (~109 lb.)

Case History

This 49.4 kg sub-adult loggerhead was captured May 29th by the SC Department of Natural Resources’ sea turtle research vessel, the RV Lady Lisa. The blood work and physical exam performed on board the vessel revealed severe debilitation and necessitated this animal’s admission into our sea turtle hospital. Our hospital is currently over capacity and we’ve had to set up temporary tanks to house two of our recently admitted sea turtles. “Botany” is the 11th sea turtle we’ve admitted in May alone this year, which is by far a record for us in any one month!


SC Department of Natural Resources staff met our team at a nearby dock to transfer this turtle to our hospital Friday night. Botany was lethargic, anemic, hypoproteinemic, and extremely skinny. Veterinary care included IV hetastarch to replace blood proteins and alleviate the severe edema, fluids to treat dehydration, and our normal supportive care protocol for debilitated turtles of injectable vitamins and antibiotics. Our vet commented that “SCDNR saved this one from getting worse and likely dying at sea or stranding beyond recovery.”


3 June 2015: Despite her poor blood work, Botany is becoming more alert and is starting to show small signs of improvement. She exhibits a good appetite and her diet will slowly be increased over these first couple of weeks. S/he is currently residing in a temporary tank of water, and our team is working diligently around the clock to care for all of our hospital patients and to purchase and add filtration systems to our two temporary tanks. Prognosis is fair.

9 September 2015: Botany is in the final stages of recovery in our hospital. We pulled blood to assess her internal health status yesterday; in-house processing revealed a packed cell volume of 24%, which is quite an improvement over her admittance value of 10%. However, this animal still shows signs of edema even though blood protein levels are normal, which is unusual. On a good note, Botany is extremely feisty and eating well and, once her blood values improve just a bit more, she’ll be ready for release.

3 November 2015:  We are happy to report that after almost 6 months of rehabilitation Botany has been medically cleared for release! In order to receive a clean bill of health by SCA’s veterinarian Dr. Boylan a patient’s blood work, body condition, hunting ability, and overall activity level must be first be reviewed.

Release Date

November 12th, 2015

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park

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