Gibbons 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.
Gibbons was found stranded on an Eastham beach at high tide November 8th. A physical exam by the veterinary team at NEAq noted a core body temperature of 56°F upon admittance, lethargy, shallow respirations, and dry and cracking skin from exposure to the cold; otherwise, this juvenile was not suffering from any major maladies. However, radiographs performed by NEAq on the 17th showed signs of pneumonia, the presence of which was confirmed via x-ray upon Gibbons admission to our sea turtle hospital on the 20th. Our team will continue antibiotic treatment and will closely monitor Gibbons’ lungs via radiographs during the next few weeks.
11 May 2015: All of our cold-stunned ridleys admitted this past winter have officially recovered from severe hypothermia. Although four of our ridleys will stay in our hospital for continued treatment for the joint infection osteomyelitis, this patient was officially medically cleared for release today!