Jim | South Carolina Aquarium


Nov 14


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: Bulls Bay, Awendaw, SC
Arrival Date: 10/29/23
Age: Juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Weight: 2.89 kg (6.37 lbs)

Case History

Jim is a juvenile green sea turtle that was found floating in Bulls Bay by a family out boating. The turtle’s inability to dive and swim away was cause for concern. The family reached out to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and were met by permitted members of the Isle of Palms Turtle Team. These turtle team members retrieved and transported the turtle to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™ for treatment.


Jim arrived to the Care Center active and alert. Upon initial physical examination, Jim was in good body condition with no external injuries and blood work was within normal ranges. Radiographs (x-rays) revealed that Jim’s gastrointestinal tract was full of gas and fecal matter. This symptom is likely causing the buoyancy issues, leading to the turtle to float at the surface and have trouble diving. Jim was given antibiotics, fluids and vitamins then was placed in a half-full tank of water.

This little green was very active and trying her/his best to dive under the water, but was having difficulty due to the buoyancy issues. To ensure our patient got some rest and didn’t run out of energy, Jim was placed in a kiddie pool overnight.


October 30, 2023: This morning Jim was actively swimming in the kiddie pool, though still very buoyant and listing to the left. Thankfully Jim had a fecal overnight which was great news as there is a lot of it to pass! With new green sea turtle patients, we first offer a couple of pieces of fish and one leaf of lettuce — Jim wasn’t interested in veggies but ate the fish quickly! We’re happy with Jim’s progress so far!

November 15, 2023: Jim has made some great progress! As s/he continues to defecate, the buoyancy problems are decreasing in severity, which is what we hoped for and expected. This past week Jim has been seen resting flat on the bottom of the tank and has started eating all food items offered!

December 15, 2023: Jim continues to improve every day at the Care Center. This past month Jim has had no problems with buoyancy and eats everything quickly! Despite a healthy appetite, Jim is not fond of eating vitamins. Hopefully, in the next month, Jim will get better at this!

January 15, 2024: Jim has made great strides this past month at the Care Center! Previously, Jim had been very picky about eating vitamins, but throughout the past couple of weeks Jim has started eating vitamins consistently. Jim has also shown interest in many different enrichment items but seems to particularly enjoy the backscratcher enrichment.

February 15, 2024: Jim’s diagnoses have been resolved and we are happy to share that we are seeing all of the expected natural behaviors! Jim was tagged earlier this month and we are awaiting bloodwork results to determine if this little green will be cleared for release!

February 26, 2024: Today this juvenile green sea turtle had a big day. Jim made a trip to Florida’s warmer waters and was successfully released at Little Talbot Island State Park along with nine other rehab patients. Jim was a very special turtle for our South Carolina Aquarium family, so it was even more special that Jim was our 400th released turtle! Wish Jim the best of luck out in the big blue!

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