Hans | South Carolina Aquarium


Dec 14


Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Arrival Date: 11/29/2021
Age: Juvenile
Weight: 2.2 kg (4.84 lbs)

Case History

Hans stranded on November 25 in Brewster in Cape Cod, Massachusetts due to cold-stunning. They were transported to the New England Aquarium they received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. After a few days at the New England Aquarium, Turtles Fly Too pilot, Ed Filangeri, and co-pilot, Glenn Knoblach, picked up over 40 sea turtles and flew them to rehabilitation facilities in North Carolina, Georgia and to us at the South Carolina Aquarium. It truly takes a village to rehabilitate sea turtles!


Hans was one of eight sea turtles transported from New England Aquarium for further treatment of cold-stunning. Upon landing in the Charleston area, their body temp and heart rate were checked after they were loaded into the turtle ambulance. Hans did great during the transport, and their body temperature was in the lower 60s. We made sure to set our exam room to a lower temperature to avoid a drastic rise in body temperature during the admit process. Hans had a normal heart rate, and was very active during the admit process! They received fluids, vitamins, was given an antibiotic, received x-rays, bloodwork and a physical exam by our vet team. Overall, Hans was in good shape! We then left Hans to rest comfortably in a foam-padded bin in the hallway and slowly increased their body temperature so we could move them to a tank in the ICU.


December 12, 2021: Hans has been doing pretty well since admit! Hans started eating right away and has been pooping up a storm, which is a sign things are moving through his gastrointestinal tract without issues. Cold-stunned patients can take awhile to have any interest in food or begin defecating, as their gastrointestinal tracts tend to shut down as a result of cold stunning. Hans will be receiving antibiotic injections and diet increases over the next few weeks.

February 15, 2022: Unlike the character they are named after, Hans is a great patient. They have continued to improve during their time at the Sea Turtle Care Center™; they have been gaining weight and eating like a champ!

March 15, 2022: This past month Hans has received some new enrichment: a backscratcher! They haven’t quite figured out the “right way” to use it is as a scratching post. Instead we normally see them swimming through it. Last week, Hans was pulled for tagging and a pre-release exam along with some of our other turtles. Now we are waiting for results before determining if Hans is ready for release.

April 5, 2022: Hans has recovered from all of their cold-stunning ailments and has been released in Florida! Water temperatures in South Carolina are still too cold, and we did not want this little one to become cold-stunned and strand again!

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