Green (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Bulls Bay, Awendaw, SC
Arrival Date: 10/29/23
Weight: 2.89 kg (6.37 lbs)
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!