Onyx | South Carolina Aquarium


Jul 13


Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Apache Pier, Myrtle Pier, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 6/19/2021
Age: Juvenile
Weight: 1.30 kg (2.6 lbs)

Case History

Onyx was found entangled in monofilament line at Apache Pier in Myrtle Beach. Park rangers were called. Upon arrival, they noted the entangled turtle didn’t have line coming from her mouth, but she did have some bruising and abrasions on the plastron (bottom shell). Chris Lee, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) permit holder, was contacted, and she transported this little Kemp’s to the Sea Turtle Care Center™ for evaluation.


Onyx was very alert when she was admitted into the Care Center. Since she was entangled in monofilament line, vet staff immediately took an x-ray to determine if there was a hook present anywhere in her gastrointestinal tract. Luckily for Onyx, no hooks were detected. In-house bloodwork indicated some dehydration but other values were stable. Onyx appeared to be slightly underweight, and the abrasions on the plastron were minor. After fluids, vitamins and antibiotics were administered, Onyx was left to rest in a padded bin overnight.


July 15, 2021: Onyx has been moved into a divided tank with two other Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, Topaz and Opal, to make room for the influx of new patients we have received over the past two months. We collect fecals on all patients to ensure there are no parasites. All three patients had an intestinal parasite that required treatment, so they all received dewormer. We will check their fecals to make sure we got rid of the parasite load. While intestinal parasites are normal for healthy wild sea turtles, a heavy parasitic load can cause a variety of issues for patients who have suppressed immune systems, so we like to treat them while they are in our care.

August 15, 2021: Onyx was recently pulled for a weight check and physical exam and is doing well overall.

September 15, 2021: Since our last update, Onyx was pulled for a weight, measurement, blood draw and was P.I.T tagged. Unfortunately, Onyx’s bloodwork was not where it needed to be to meet release parameters, so we will give him a few more weeks before we recheck his bloodwork to see if those values have improved.

October 15, 2021: Onyx, along with a few other patients, was P.I.T tagged, received a pre-release exam and blood pull. Onyx passed all of their pre-release parameters with flying colors and was released back into the big blue on Folly Beach!

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