Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Garden City, SC
Arrival Date: 10/31/19
Weight: 4.73 pounds
On October 31, 2019, Michael Myers was found on Halloween morning stranded on the shore near Garden City Pier. He was found by a beachgoer named Candy Colonna, who was out for an early morning walk when she noticed the turtle had a large, fresh laceration from the top of his neck to his left shoulder. She contacted the authorities and stayed with Michael Myers until Terry Graham, the Garden City/Surfside beach coordinator, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources transporter arrived. Terry and fellow Garden City turtle team member, Vickki Hardwick, quickly transported the turtle to the Sea Turtle Care Center while trying to keep him still to prevent further blood loss from the fresh wound that impacted his jugular.
Upon arrival, Michael Myers became more active and began to bleed again. Dr. Shane Boylan and the team jumped into action to stop the bleeding with compression and bandages. Michael was sedated to prevent moving and further aggravating the wound. Unfortunately, any movement caused profuse bleeding, so further attempts to close the wound were not successful. The wound was packed with gel foam, bandages and a compression wrap to encourage clotting. The blood loss from the initial impact in the water and during the triage process was significant, so the goal is to get Michael Myers to a more stable point before any further wound care can be done.
November 15, 2019: On November 4, Michael Myers was started in a shallow water baby pool. While he was initially weak and inactive, he eventually perked up and began actively swimming in the tank with about a foot and a half of water. There have been no issues of further bleeding so far, and when he was offered a piece of fish, he ate it immediately. A week after he was admitted, Michael began to defecate large quantities of plastic and other marine debris. In just three days, he passed over 110 small pieces of hard sheet plastic and food packaging materials. That is a huge amount of foreign material for a juvenile turtle, who weighs less than five pounds, to have ingested. Michael Myers has endured a lot in his short life already, but he is proving to be a fighter!
December 1, 2019: Michael Myers is a tough little guy and has been continuing to heal and eat well. Luckily, there have been no recent issues with bleeding as the laceration on his neck has formed a thin layer of fibrin (similar to a scab) that is protecting the wound as it heals. Michael has a long road ahead, but we are optimistic about his progress so far! Unfortunately, he has continued to defecate some pieces of plastic, but we’re finding smaller amounts and within the last few days he has been debris-free! We will continue to monitor his digestion closely for any further signs of complication.
December 15, 2019: Great news – since our last update, Michael hasn’t passed any more plastics! His boat strike laceration is filling in nicely and we are pleasantly surprised at how well he is healing. Michael is almost up to a full tank of water and loves chowing down on his veggies!
January 1, 2020: Michael Myers continues to amaze us with his incredible ability to heal! The fibrin layer over his neck wound has come off and the tissue underneath looks good and healthy. It will continue to fill in more over time, but at least everything underneath is now protected. In other great news, Michael’s defecations are still debris-free and he is actively swimming in a full tank. He sure is one resilient little turtle!
January 15, 2020: Michael Myers was pulled for an examination of weight, measurements and bloodwork. His progress has been remarkable. The wound on his neck has continued to fill in and he is in great body condition. Michael has gained more than 1.5 lbs since he arrived just a few short months ago, and now weighs in at almost 6.5 lbs! He continues to eat well and defecate regularly, with no signs of marine debris since early December. Michael’s our own little super turtle!