Pilatus- Sea Turtle Rescue Program


Dec 18


Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii))

Stranding Location: Barnstable County, MAArrival Date: 11/20/2014Age: JuvenileWeight: 3.5 kg (~7 lb.)

Case History

Pilatus is one of fifteen sea turtles transferred from the New England Aquarium (NEAq) to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital on November 20, 2014. This Kemp’s ridley was one of more than a thousand sea turtles afflicted with severe hypothermia and recovered (alive or dead) from the beaches and nearshore waters of Massachusetts during an unprecedented cold-stunning event in late November 2014. Thanks to the generosity of a private flight donated by Margie and Will Dorminy, owners of Southern Eagle Distributing in Charleston, we are proud to be one of more than 17 facilities nationwide to aid NEAq in caring for the massive number of threatened and endangered sea turtles stranded due to this cold-stunning event.


Discovered buried in sand and bleeding from a wound to the right front flipper on a Massachusetts beach November 7th, Pilatus was initially taken to NEAq for treatment. In addition to medical complications from cold-stunning, the NEAq veterinary team treated boat strike wounds on this Kemp’s ridley that were days to week(s) old. The right front flipper was bleeding due to a 8-10 cm long laceration that completely cut through the tissue of the flipper. The top and bottom shells were both fractured as well, although there was no indication that the boat prop had perforated the turtle’s internal body cavity. Of the fifteen turtles transferred here on the 20th, Pilatus was the only one with severe external wounds. However, this little ridley is consistently alert and feisty, and we are confident he will make a full recovery from these health issues.


11 May 2015: All of our cold-stunned ridleys admitted this past winter have officially recovered from severe hypothermia. Although four of our ridleys will stay in our hospital for continued treatment for the joint infection osteomyelitis, this patient was officially medically cleared for release today!

Release Date

May 14, 2015

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park
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