Buckbeak | South Carolina Aquarium


May 17


Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Sullivan’s Island, SC

Arrival Date: 05/05/2018

Age: Juvenile

Weight: 4.12 kg (9 pounds)

Case History

Buckbeak was hooked by a surf fisherman near the lighthouse on Sullivan’s Island. The fisherman brought him to shore where they kept him safe until South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) volunteer responders could arrive. Buckbeak was promptly transported to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center for hook removal.


Upon admit, Buckbeak was active and alert. Vet staff did a thorough exam on him to assess his body condition and took X-rays to find the location of the hook. Luckily the hook was shallowly hooked in the tongue. With some light sedation, vet staff was able to quickly and easily remove the hook. Buckbeak spent the rest of the evening recovering from the sedation and was placed in a tank the next day.


May 8, 2018: Buckbeak was placed in a tank the day after admit and is slowly adapting to his new surroundings. We have started offering a piece of fish each day, however he currently has no interest in food. We are optimistic that after a few days he will settle down and begin to eat. Buckbeak is in great body condition so we are hoping for a quick turnaround for him!

May 15, 2018: Staff had a hard time getting Buckbeak to start eating- we tried everything! When offered some crushed up blue crab he immediately went for it and began eating. Buckbeak is still receiving antibiotic injections every few days.

June 1, 2018: Buckbeak has continued to eat well for us and now eats a variety of fish species. He is very active in his tank as well, which is a sign that he feels great. He will be finishing up antibiotics in the next couple of weeks. We hope for a quick turnaround for Buckbeak!

June 15, 2018: Buckbeak has been doing very well! He is always hungry and jets around his tank all day long. We hope to begin the release evaluation process soon – a process that can take a month or more to complete! Staff evaluates the patient’s weight, body condition, ability to eat/forage for food, blood values and the animal must be tagged by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

July 1, 2018: Recently, Buckbeak was tagged by SCDNR and staff pulled blood to evaluate him for release. Photos were taken, body condition was evaluated, he was weighed, measured and his eyes and mouth were checked. The blood sample will be sent off for a full panel evaluation. Once the results are received, the vets will assess them for clearance. On the same day, Buckbeak was moved to TR3 in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery for the rest of his time with us. Check out Buckbeak in his new tank on your next visit!

July 15, 2018: Buckbeak has been medically cleared for release! Stay tuned for his official release announcement in the next of couple days!

July 19, 2018: Buckbeak went home yesterday along with fellow sea turtles, Gary and Farrah. Watch them greet the waves!

Release Date

July 18, 2018

Release Location

Folly Beach County Park

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