Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Arrival Date: 11/29/2021
Weight: 1.9 kg (4.18 lbs)
Kristoff stranded on November 26 in Cape Cod 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!
Kristoff was one of eight sea turtles transported to us from the New England Aquarium for treatment. Kristoff stranded only a few days before transport, so their body temperature was checked after they were loaded into the turtle ambulance, along with their heart rate and breathing. Kristoff 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. Kristoff had a normal heart rate and was very alert during the admit process. They received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. Kristoff had a few areas on the tip of his beak and nares, and the skin along their flippers that looked like frostbite from being exposed to cold air temperatures on the beach, so we will keep a close eye on those areas. We then left Kristoff 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 14, 2021: Since admit, Kristoff has been doing well! We have been monitoring those frostbite areas closely while they are out for injections to make sure they are healing well. Kristoff has been eating really great and has settled into their temporary new home well.
January 15, 2022: The day after admit, Kristoff began eating right away. There was a small area of frost bite on the soft tissue of their nares, but it has since healed up well. Kristoff is no longer on any antibiotics and is doing well otherwise. We are just giving them time to recover from the impacts of chronic cold stunning.
February 15, 2022: Kristoff is doing well in a divided tank with Olaf and Bruni. They have taken the Frozen song to hear and aren’t letting the frostbite bite — they’re recovering well from the small frostbite area on their nose. Staff has finished collecting fecal samples on Kristoff, and they are clear of any parasites! They will continue to get monthly weights and exams and need to gain a little weight and recover from their cold-stunning symptoms.