Lucas | South Carolina Aquarium


Dec 14


Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Arrival Date: November 27, 2016

Stranding Location: Dennis, Massachusetts

Weight: 4.1 pounds

Lifestage: Juvenile

Case History

This young cold stun turtle arrived at the New England Aquarium on November 19, after becoming hypothermic and stranding on a beach in Dennis, Massachusetts. With a core body temperature of only 53.5°F and a heart rate of only 10 bpm, s/he is lucky to have been rescued and taken to the New England Aquarium for treatment. The turtle’s body temperature was slowly increased, vitamins and fluids were given, blood work analyzed and radiographs taken. The radiographs showed some possible signs of pneumonia, so we started Lucas on antibiotics.


Upon arrival to the Sea Turtle Care Center, physical examination showed brown eschar (scabbing) of the eyelids and some areas of soft tissue. Lucas was also reluctant to keep his/her eyes open and daily eye drop therapy was continued. Repeat radiographs showed GI gas in addition to signs of pneumonia. Later that week, Lucas was taken offsite for a CT scan. The scan confirmed fairly significant amounts of GI gas which would explain his/her intermittent floating and caudal buoyancy.


December 10, 2016: Lucas took a few days to adjust before s/he began eating, but now has quite the appetite. Lucas is being housed with three other ridleys, his/her eye meds have since been discontinued, and s/he continues to get two types of injectable antibiotics every three days.

January 6, 2017: Lucas looks like a whole different turtle as most of the soft tissue abrasions and wounds have healed. Hospital staff will continue to monitor Lucas’ health with repeat radiographs and physical examinations.

February 7, 2017: Lucas continues to thrive as all of his abrasions and wounds have healed! Lucas now has a bigger section in his tank and is enjoying the new space!

March 1, 2017: Lucas has really filled out and gained a fair amount of weight! Lucas is also part of the seven sea turtles that are being considered for potential release.

Release Date

March 14, 2017

Release Location

Surfside County Park in St. Augustine, Florida

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