Stranding Location: Brewster, Barnstable County, MA
Arrival Date: 11/20/2014
Weight: 3.0 kg (~6 lb.)
Bud is one of fifteen sea turtles transferred from the New England Aquarium (NEAq) to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital on November 20, 2014. This Kemp’s ridley was one of more than a thousand sea turtles afflicted with severe hypothermia and recovered (alive or dead) from the beaches and nearshore waters of Massachusetts during an unprecedented cold-stunning event in late November 2014. Thanks to the generosity of a private flight donated by Margie and Will Dorminy, owners of Southern Eagle Distributing in Charleston, we are proud to be one of more than 17 facilities nationwide to aid NEAq in caring for the massive number of threatened and endangered sea turtles stranded due to this cold-stunning event.
Bud was recovered by the Brewster Police Department after stranding in Massachusetts on November 15th. Covered in algae, hydroids, and tiny barnacles, this little ridley was taken to NEAq for treatment. Initial blood work showed a significantly elevated level of potassium (hyperkalemia), which was treated with insulin and IV dextrose. Although Bud was stable prior to his flight to South Carolina, he was the sickest of the 15 turtles we admitted on November 20th. Since it was very difficult to find his heartbeat at admission with a Doppler, we used a portable ultrasound and were able to determine that this ridley’s heart was beating extremely slowly. He was intubated and treated with atropine, fluids, antibiotics, and injectable vitamins. His heart rate increased from essentially 0 beats per minute (bpm) at admission to a steady 20 bpm a couple of hours later. After four hours of treatment and monitoring, Bud was awake and squirming to the point where he removed the tube from his trachea and was breathing well on his own. Despite the worrisome health issues, Bud began eating the day following admission and is slowly regaining his strength in our sea turtle hospital.