Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Myrtle Beach State Park, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 5/14/2021
Weight: 4.8 kg (10.5 lbs)
Druzy was caught by a fisher in Myrtle Beach State Park. The fisher called the state park staff to help them out with the turtle. State park staff responded and after evaluating the turtle they called the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). SCDNR sent a responder out for transport for the turtle to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Care Center for treatment. After several hours of activity, Druzy finally arrived at the Care Center around 6:50 p.m.
Druzy had been hooked by a fisher, but the hook was only in the front, left flipper instead of the mouth. There was a small wound on the flipper where the hook had been indicating it had been removed at the beach. Druzy also had a lot of epibiota and an older wound of unknown origin on his plastron. In addition to all of that, Druzy had a few ulcers on his other flippers and on his carapace. Overall, Druzy’s bloodwork was not too bad, so we gave him antibiotics, vitamins, fluids and then let him rest in a shallow tank of water overnight.
5/21/21: Druzy is doing much better now. He is brighter and more alert. He has been eating small amounts of fish and veggies and is defecating a little bit almost daily. There isn’t much more we could ask for! He definitely has a lot of epibiota left on his carapace and the keratin beneath the barnacles is soft and damaged, so we are being very careful while handling him. We are slowly increasing his diet and tank water level, as long as he is handling it okay.
June 15, 2021: Over the last few weeks, Druzy has finished his antibiotic prescription and pretty much all of the epibiota has fallen off his carapace. The keratin underneath was very dirty, soft and bubbling in multiple places. There are a few small areas of exposed bone as well. Dr. Boylan did an exam and debrided some of the areas last week to clean them up so his body can start growing healthy tissue. Now that it is warm and sunny out here in the Lowcountry, we are taking Druzy outside twice per week to get some natural sunlight. The natural sunlight will help Druzy make vitamin D and promote strong keratin growth. It will also help return his shell to the natural dark color that is signature to green sea turtles.
July 15, 2021: We were able to move Druzy from the basement ICU, up into Tank 4 in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery this month! She has been doing very well and loves to scratch her shell on her new enrichment. We love seeing such big improvements in our patients!
August 15, 2021: Druzy continues to do well in her new tank in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery. She is eating everything in sight and gaining weight. We are very happy with her improvement! Be sure to say “hey” to Druzy next time you visit the Aquarium!
September 13, 2021: Druzy was released by boat back into the beautiful saltmarsh habitat in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.