Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Garden City Pier, Murrells Inlet, SC
Arrival Date: 5/24/2020
Weight: 3.88 kg (8.5 lb)
Jasper was hooked by a fisherman on the Garden City Pier. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Permit holder Terry Graham responded to the call, and drove Jasper to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center to remove the hook safely.
Once brought inside at the aquarium, Jasper received a radiograph to locate the hook in his throat. There was a little bit of fishing line present outside of his mouth, so we used that as a guide to go deeper to the hook. Luckily, it was in the esophagus and we were able to remove the hook quickly and easily. No surgery necessary here! Jasper received a full physical exam and his bloodwork was analyzed. He was pretty healthy, other than biting down on a hook! Staff gave him fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and let him rest overnight to sleep off the sedation.
May 25, 2020: Jasper was placed into a tank today and is doing well! We offered him food but he didn’t eat it, which is not uncommon as his throat may still be a little bit sore from the hook removal. Jasper should continue to do well and hopefully can be a fast turnaround!
June 1, 2020: Jasper has continued to improve since our last update. He is now eating regularly. We are slowly increasing the amount of food he is being given until he gets to a maintenance amount. Even with patients that are in healthier condition on admit, we slowly increase their diet intake so we can monitor their appetites closely, and so we do not cause any backups in their GI after the stress of transport/triage. Jasper is also continuing to get antibiotic injections to ward off any potential infections from the hook injury.
July 15, 2020: Jasper has really knocked it out of the park! He has finished his antibiotics and eats like a champ. He has gained a little bit of weight, and he will be pulled out soon for a blood draw to begin evaluating him for release.
August 15, 2020: Jasper was released on August 5 at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge!