Muffin | South Carolina Aquarium


Jun 07


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: Georgetown, SC
Arrival Date: 5/5/2024
Age: Juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Weight: 2.09 kg (4.6 lbs)

Case History

This little green sea turtle was found washed ashore in Georgetown, South Carolina with predation wounds to the left front flipper and both rear flippers. Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island Turtle Team along with SCUTE transporters responded to the turtle per the instruction of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Thanks to everyone involved who helped get this turtle to the Aquarium for rehabilitation!


In addition to the healing predator wounds sustained to three flippers, we found that this patient also had superficial ulcers in both eyes and a mild epibiont load. Diagnostic imagining was taken to assess the predation wounds to the flippers and we found that Muffin is missing a few bones in the left front flipper. In addition to the flipper damage, the radiographs revealed that Muffin has a large amount of gas in her/his gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This was likely causing buoyancy issues for this patient. Staff started Muffin on fluids, vitamins and antibiotics to prevent infection as this tiny turtle continues to heal. Muffin was active and had stable bloodwork, so we wanted to try this patient in water quickly but proceeded with caution due to potential buoyancy issues. Muffin was tested in a kiddie pool and did very well! Muffin was active and taking consistent breaths. As expected, s/he did appear to be caudally buoyant (backside up) when resting.


May 7, 2024: In the days following being admitted to the Sea Turtle Care Center™, Muffin began to eat and even defecated! A patient’s first defecation is a very exciting and important step in the recovery process. Turtles consistently defecating tells us that their GI tracts are functioning appropriately. For Muffin, this was particularly great news because it meant this patient could have passed some of the gas that was causing buoyancy issues and can begin swimming in deeper water.

June 15, 2024: You can now see Muffin in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery™! Muffin eats like a champ, has finished antibiotics and is exploring her/his new tank. This patient still has a little more weight to gain but is projected to have a smooth recovery! Stop by and wave “shello” on your next visit!

June 28, 2024:  It was an exciting day for this juvenile green sea turtle. After making a full recovery in our Sea Turtle Care Center, Muffin was released by boat today into a beautiful local saltmarsh habitat. Wish Muffin the best of luck out in the big blue!

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