Hedwig | South Carolina Aquarium


Jun 29


Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: Caper’s Inlet, SC

Arrival Date: 6/21/2018

Age: Juvenile

Weight: 29.4 kg (63 lbs)

Case History

Hedwig was found stranded in Caper’s Inlet, a remote area near Dewee’s Island, by Adrian Honeycutt and her kids Harrison, Harper and Hannah. They were visiting the Lowcountry all the way from Arizona! Hedwig was very lethargic and had a moderate epibiota load (barnacles, algae, etc.) on her shell. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was contacted and volunteer transporters Mary Pringle and Barb Gobien met the Honeycutt Family at the Isle of Palms Marina. Barb and Mary safely transported this sick turtle to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) for treatment.


When Hedwig was admitted, she had a moderate epibiota load, and she was lethargic and underweight. Our vet team deduced that she had the beginnings of debilitated turtle syndrome (DTS). Her bloodwork results showed that she was slightly anemic, but not as critical as some our former DTS patients, and that she was dehydrated. Fluids were administered, along with some vitamins to help aid in rehydration. Hedwig was also started on an antibiotic regimen to help fight off any opportunistic infections that could arise due to her comprised immune system. Hedwig had enough energy to be placed in a shallow water tank in ICU. She did great overnight and ate immediately the next morning.


June 28, 2018: Hedwig is settling in well with us and is eating like a champ! She is being pulled biweekly for antibiotic injections ,andwe are slowly increasing her diet and water depth as she gets stronger. She has also defecated a lot of blue crab parts, which is a good indication that her gastrointestinal tract is starting to heal and return to normal function.

July 15, 2018: Hedwig is still in shallow water but we are slowly increasing his water level as he gets stronger. She is definitely a staff favorite, and she is responding well to our treatment of antibiotics and nutrient-rich diet. We are still watching Hedwig closely but overall, she has settled in well and we are happy with the progress she’s made!

August 1, 2018: Hedwig is definitely on an upward trend! She just finished her course of antibiotics and has gained a good amount of weight since admit. As long as Hedwig stays on this course, she should be on the road to complete recovery in the next few months.

August 15, 2018: Hedwig is still receiving calcium injections and is responding well! She has gained about 10 pounds since admit and is growing more energetic by the week. Hedwig still has a ways to go but is on the road to recovery!

September 1, 2018: Hedwig continues to look better and better each week! Hedwig is still receiving calcium injections but only has one or two doses left. She is steadily gaining weight and on the mend!

October 1, 2018: Hedwig was brought up to Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery to ride out Hurricane Florence and was a-okay! We were able to do a quick physical exam, weight and measurement when we moved her. Hedwig is still on the thinner side, so we increased her diet to help her gain some more weight. She also finished her calcium injections. Overall, Hedwig is rocking out rehab but still needs time to improve.

October 15, 2018: Hedwig is doing well on her road to recovery! Hedwig will be pulled for a weight, measurement and physical exam later this week. Hedwig needs more time to gain weight and improve her bloodwork, but is doing wonderfully overall!

November 1, 2018: No new news to report for Hedwig, other than good news! She’s just doing her turtle thing and slowly gaining weight.

November 15, 2018: Hedwig was pulled for her monthly weight and measurement this week. She is steadily gaining weight, but she is still a little “soft” in some areas. Hedwig is a great eater, is very active and loves hanging out under her backscratcher! Though she has a ways to go in her rehabilitation, we are proud of the progress she’s made so far.

December 1, 2018: There’s not much news to report on Hedwig, she’s just cruising through rehab. She is often seen using or sleeping under her backscratcher, and really loves her fish pops!

December 15, 2018: Last week, we pulled Hedwig for her monthly weight and measurement and she’s gained more weight and overall is looking great! Her weight is still not high enough for her to be released just yet, but she’s a good eater and we’re confident that with more time she’ll return back to her ocean home.

January 1, 2019: Hedwig was pulled for a weight and measurement last week and was still a little on the thin side. We increased her diet a touch, but she’s made great progress since she was admitted back in June!

January 15, 2019: Hedwig was moved into Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery placed in Hagrid’s former tank. So far, Hedwig is loving the extra space! She’s also gained weight and is a great eater. Come see Hedwig in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery!

February 1, 2019: Hedwig was pulled for a physical exam, blood draw and tagging, which means she’s one step closer to release. Hedwig is not quite ready to go back to the big blue, but is almost ready. We are just waiting for blood results to come back and be evaluated by our vet staff to officially deem her releasable.

March 1, 2019: Since our last update, Hedwig has been doing great! We are just waiting on bloodwork results to come in before he’s potentially released. If and when that happens, check our social media pages for any news!

March 15, 2019: Great news for Hedwig! On March 14, Hedwig was released via boat about 45 miles offshore into the gulf stream. Unlike our local waters where the temperature fluctuates throughout the year, the gulf stream maintains around 70°F year round, and is where sub-adult loggerhead sea turtles will migrate to in the winter months to stay warm. We are so happy for Hedwig!

Release Date

March 15, 2019

Release Location


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