Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Arrival Date: November 27, 2016
Stranding Location: Eastham, Massachusetts
Weight: 8.4 pounds
On November 13th, this young Kemp’s ridley was found stranded on the beach and taken to the New England Aquarium for life saving medical treatment. The turtle’s heart rate was 12 beats per minute and core body temperature of only 53.3°F. Over the course of the next two weeks the turtle’s body temperature was slowly increased, radiographs taken, fluids and vitamins given, and bloodwork analyzed. Once the turtle was deemed stable enough for transport s/he was flown down to us at the South Carolina Aquarium for further treatment.
Ewok, as we affectionately named the largest of the 6 New England Kemp’s, was carefully examined by the Sea Turtle Care Center staff upon arrival at the aquarium. Physical examination revealed some trauma to the carapace with exposed bone that had already started healing. S/he was given 1% BW fluids, and started on an injectable antibiotic course. After slowly warming up Ewok’s body temperature a few degrees, we placed him/her down in the sea turtle hospital in a large 800 gallon tank that had been subdivided four ways with PVC dividers.
December 10, 2016: Ewok is doing great and doesn’t seem to mind the company of his/her three other ridley roommates. S/he is a good eater and continues to get an injection, physical examine and weight check every three days.
January 6, 2017: Ewok continues to do well and is commonly observed swimming around energetically. All medications are done and, for now, all Ewok needs is some good food and time to heal.
February 7, 2017: After the release of Hunting, one of our green patients, Ewok was moved from a partitioned tank and is now able to “stretch his flippers” in the new tank! Ewok is very energetic and continues to eat well, gain weight and is doing great!
March 1, 2017: Ewok is loving life in his new tank and s/he is doing wonderfully! So wonderfully, in fact, that Ewok was pulled for pre-release bloodwork and tagging this week!
March 14, 2017
Surfside County Park in St. Augustine, Florida