CHARLESTON, S.C. — Apr. 10, 2015 — Two loggerhead sea turtles that were admitted in the summer of 2014 in critical condition, were successfully returned to the Atlantic Ocean this afternoon. The turtles, Lazarus and Dozer, were released by boat approximately 40 miles off the coast of Charleston. The trip offshore was generously donated by John Hill, a resident of Wadmalaw Island. The release of Lazarus and Dozer celebrates 157 threatened or endangered sea turtles successfully treated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program.
About turtle rehabilitation and release:
Lazarus: Lazarus, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, was admitted to the Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital in June of last year after being found emaciated, lethargic, and near death in Garden City, S.C. Blood work indicated the turtle was suffering from severe anemia, hypoproteinemia and hypoglycemia. Team members immediately began treating the animal with supportive care including fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. During the admission process, Lazarus began to exhibit signs of death (extending head and front flippers in an exaggerated fashion and gasping for air), and s/he became unresponsive with the eyes sinking back into the skull. Aquarium Veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan quickly administered IV epinephrine and began assisting with the animal’s breathing. The turtle regained consciousness over the next 15 minutes and was kept on a respirator overnight, the prognosis was very poor. After a second death scare and a few days of treatment, Lazarus became slightly responsive. Team members continued to work around the clock providing treatment for this animal and after several weeks of care s/he began showing signs of recovery. Close to a year later, Lazarus has been given a clean bill of health, a true testament to the excellent care s/he received and the resilience of these animals.
Dozer: Dozer, a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle was found extremely debilitated and stranded in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in September of last year. The loggerhead was transported to the Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) where s/he was found to be in critical condition. Dozer’s condition stabilized after several days of supportive care including fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. After a few months of expert care and a healthy diet, Dozer became feisty, swimming and splashing around in his/her holding pool. After six months of care, Dozer was cleared for release and was returned to the ocean along with Lazarus.
What can you do?:
You can help protect threatened and endangered sea turtles. If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the SCDNR sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431. You may also help care for sea turtles in recovery at the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program by making a donation at scaquarium.org.
To read about our patients or track their recovery progress, visit our Sea Turtle Rescue blog at scaquarium.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates from the hospital, including public sea turtle release details.
- Two loggerhead sea turtles released today, April 10, by boat, off the Charleston Coast
- Both threatened species were treated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program
- Lazarus exhibited signs of death twice but fully recovered after intensive care over the course of a year
- Dozer was extremely debilitated and made a full recovery
- For more information on how to help threatened and endangered animals visit scaquarium.org
For all media inquiries, please contact Kate Dittloff at (843) 579-8660 or [email protected]