Pancake | South Carolina Aquarium


Apr 22


Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Myrtle Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 4/17/24
Age: Juvenile
Sex: Unknown
Weight: 2.24 kg (4.9 lbs)

Case History

This little Kemp’s was caught on a hook at Myrtle Beach State Park Pier. The hook was snared superficially in the right front flipper and was removed at the fishing pier. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was notified and the turtle was transported to the Aquarium for treatment.


Thankfully, Pancake did not seem to be in too rough of shape. The hook was removed at the pier and the wound was fairly superficial; there wasn’t too much damage, just some redness. Otherwise, the little turtle had algae, sand and some barnacles on the carapace (top shell). Some slight bruising and abrasions were also noted on the plastron. Diagnostic imaging showed that there were no other hooks internally (thank goodness). Based on the all of our observations and bloodwork results, Pancake received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics! After all treatments were completed, it was time to see how Pancake would do in water. Based on the strong energy levels that we were seeing, we thought that the turtle would do well in a full tank of water. And we were right! Pancake navigated the tank well and is settling in!


April 21, 2024: Pancake has been doing fairly well in rehab since arriving last week. Often with new patients, it’s common for them to not eat for their first few days as they get comfortable in their new surroundings. After a couple of days, we have started seeing an appetite from Pancake! Come see this little Kemp’s progress up in Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery™.

May 15, 2024: Pancake has been doing well this past month. Unfortunately, we discovered that Pancake was defecating plastic pieces. It’s always disheartening to see our patients defecate unnatural debris of any kind. Thankfully, it seems that Pancake has passed all of the plastic since we haven’t seen more over the last couple weeks. Other than this, Pancake is doing well and is making good progress overall!

June 11, 2024: Exciting news! Pancake continued to improve, gain weight and was no longer passing any plastic or marine debris. With all of these improvements, Pancake was tagged and cleared for release! We are happy to report that after a full recovery, this endangered Kemp’s ridley was released today in a local protected saltmarsh wildlife habitat. Help us wish Pancake a long and healthy life in the wild!

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