Eleanor | South Carolina Aquarium

Eleanor

Apr 22

Eleanor

Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: Myrtle Beach State Park Fishing Pier, Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 4/14/24
Age: Juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Weight: 4.82 kg (10.63 lbs)

Case History

Eleanor was accidentally caught by hook and line at the Myrtle Beach State Park Fishing Pier. The angler brought the turtle up with a dip net to support her/his weight and found the hook superficially embedded in the front left flipper. A Myrtle Beach State Park Ranger helped recover the turtle and reported the incidental capture to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Eleanor was transported from the pier and to the Aquarium by an SCDNR volunteer.

Treatment

Eleanor arrived at the Aquarium active and alert. We took radiographs to assess if the patient had any unaccounted-for internal hooks. Luckily, Eleanor was hook-free! The original hook in the left front flipper was removed and the resulting laceration was superficial. Physically, Eleanor was in decent shape. Thankfully, s/he was at a healthy weight and exhibited good energy and full breaths. Besides the hook wound, s/he had a couple of older healing rake marks (predator wounds) on the plastron (bottom shell) and some skin irritation around the cloaca and rear flippers. We drew blood for further diagnostic assessment and started Eleanor on antibiotics and fluids to begin the healing process.

Due to this turtle’s activity level and body weight condition, we decided to try the patient in a full tank of water. Eleanor did so well! This little green immediately swam to the bottom and began exploring. Eleanor quickly figured out how to navigate the tank and took steady, full breaths. Based on these strong energy levels, we felt that this little green would be comfortable in the tank overnight!

Updates

April 17, 2024: Over the last several days, Eleanor has continued to do well. We have started offering food and s/he is showing some interest. So far, s/he is not interested in veggies, but has started eating a few pieces of fish here and there! We are looking forward to Eleanor’s continued progress — stop by and see Eleanor during your next visit!

May 15, 2024: Initially, Eleanor was an incredibly slow eater. But, over the last few days, Eleanor has started to gobble up the veggies that we are offering! This little green is doing well and we can barely see the scar from where the hook went through the front flipper now.

June 15, 2024: Eleanor has definitely picked up the pace in terms of eating! To help her digestion a little more, Eleanor has been prescribed a probiotic with every meal. We cover it in a piece of food to lessen the flavor and make it easier to swallow. Luckily, Eleanor eats it without a problem whether it is in the food or floating at the surface! She’s been gaining weight much more steadily and is on her way to a full recovery!

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