Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 6/3/2020
Weight: 3.3 kg (7.3 lb)
Bowman was hooked by a fisherman at a pier in Myrtle Beach State Park on Wednesday June, 3rd. Two park rangers at the State Park were able to safely get the turtle onto the pier. Ann Wilson, ranger and head of the turtle patrol for the park, was able to assess the injury and contact South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) to coordinate for a stranding volunteer to respond. SCDNR permit holder, Linda Mataya, then transported Bowman to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center for further treatment and care.
Upon arrival, it was determined that the long J hook was embedded in Bowman’s lower right jaw, also referred to as the mandible. In order to remove it safely and more comfortably, Bowman was given mild sedation. After the hook was removed, he was started on fluids, antibiotics, injectable vitamins, and allowed to sleep off the sedation medications overnight to help with any pain. The next morning, the staff tried him in a shallow tank to assess his activity level. Bowman began swimming right away and looked bright, alert, and responsive to his new surroundings. Over the next few days, the water level in his tank will be gradually increased.
July 15, 2020: Bowman is a cute little nugget and has been doing amazing since our last update. He is coming out of the tank soon for a blood draw and exam to see if he is getting close to his release date!
August 15, 2020: Bowman was released on August 5 at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge!