Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Cherry Grove Pier, NMB, SC
Arrival Date: 7/16/20
Weight: 3.63 kg (7.9 lbs)
Philip was caught by a fisherman on Cherry Grove Pier late in the evening on July 15th. SCDNR transporter, Linda Mataya, responded to the call and found the turtle had a moderate body condition score (a measure of how healthy they look physically), and the hook was stuck in the tongue. The hook had gone completely through the tongue in full hook-like fashion, so she took him home to monitor overnight until he could be transported to the Sea Turtle Care Center the next morning. Big shout out to Linda Mataya, Chris Beem, and Chris Lee for taking such great care of these hooked turtles coming from the Myrtle Beach Area!
Upon admit, we took Philip’s weight, got an x-ray, and began prepping him for a blood draw. His bloodwork came back pretty normal which is a great sign! We gave him the normal doses of antibiotics, fluids, vitamins, and also gave him a light sedative, and we got to work removing the hook. Dr. Boylan and Dr. Lauren were able to remove the hook pretty quickly which is what we want. The less time the turtle needs to be sedated the better! Philip rested in a bin for the rest of the day and was placed in a tank the next day.
July 17, 2020: Philip was placed in his new temporary home today! He did amazingly well and defecated multiple times, which are all great signs! We will not feed Philip for a few days to let the wounds on his tongue heal up a bit before we introduce any foreign material (like fish juice).
September 15, 2020: Philip has continued to do well since our last update. He went through a round of medication to treat for caryospora, a parasite, and his poops are now clear! We will continue to analyze them monthly just to watch out but so far so good! We hope to move him into a new tank next week.
October 15, 2020: Last week Philip was pulled for a weight, exam and bloodwork and was tagged by SCDNR. Though Phillip has not been medically cleared for release yet, his physical exam looked great. Stay tuned for more updates!