Granola | South Carolina Aquarium


Jun 07


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 5/14/24
Age: Juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Weight: 3.32 kg (7.32 lbs)

Case History

This juvenile green sea turtle was found stranded in a tidal pool at Briarcliffe Beach in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. When turtles are really sick, they often are so weak that the tides will wash them ashore. If you are ever at the beach and see a sea turtle that needs help, please call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Our many thanks to SCDNR and to the S.C.U.T.E. team of North Myrtle Beach for transporting this patient to the Aquarium!


Once Granola arrived at the Aquarium, we noticed this little green was encrusted in a heavy epibiont load of barnacles, skeleton shrimp, slipper shells and even ulva! Ulva is also known as sea lettuce, and is one of the food items that green sea turtles are often seen munching on in the wild. Overall, Granola’s vitals were not too concerning with a decent heart rate and blood glucose level. We took a radiograph to look for any potential fractures, pneumonia or even intestinal blockages, but Granola was so encrusted with barnacles that it was hard to get a clear picture. We will take a CT of this green sea turtle after s/he has time to improve. Granola has multiple abrasions across her/his body and has ulcers in both eyes. Granola received fluids, vitamins, eye drops and antibiotics to get her/him feeling better. We performed a swim test in a shallow tank due to this turtle’s energy level. Granola immediately started swimming around, took good breaths and rested easily on the bottom. Due to these factors, we felt comfortable leaving Granola in the tank overnight.


May 21, 2024: In the days after arrival, we saw Granola scratching the epibiota off her/his shell and even eating it! Scratching is a natural behavior of sea turtles, and they can be seen in the wild rubbing against rocks or coral to rid themselves of epibiota. Having an appetite is also a good sign, and Granola has eaten her/his weighted diet every day since admit!

June 15, 2024: Granola has had an eventful month! S/he has steadily received diet increases to help with weight gain and continues to be ravenous! Despite loving food, Granola does not seem to love vitamins, but we are hoping with time that will change.

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