Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Cape Cod Bay, MA
Arrival Date: 11/27/22
Weight: 2.6 kg (5.72 lbs)
This turtle is one of many that stranded up in the New England area due to cold stunning, the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia. New England Aquarium admits hundreds of turtles during the colder winter months; this year, we were able to take in 15 of these turtles to help lighten their load. We coordinate with New England Aquarium and a non-profit called Turtles Fly Too to transport the turtles here. Many thanks to pilot Steve Bernstein and his son Owen for flying them from New England down to Charleston!
Pisces came in with a strong heart rate and was taking good breaths. Their physical exam showed that they have bruising on their plastron and some scabbed lesions on their neck. Diagnostic imaging showed that they have a mild case of pneumonia and poor intestinal motility. There was also a possible obstruction in the intestines. Pisces was started on fluids and antibiotics. Based on their energy levels, it was decided to place them in a tank that night. They did great!
December 15, 2022: Pisces was one of the few turtles that ate immediately for us the day after admit. The possible obstruction that staff was worried about turned out to be of little concern because they have no problems defecating! Keep sending Pisces all the good healing vibes. They still have a long way to go!
January 15, 2023: Pisces is doing great! They are done with their antibiotic injections and are eating a weighted diet. There are still some areas of frost bite that are healing. To make room for new patients, Pisces was moved into Tank 2 which is divided four ways with fellow cold-stuns, Capricorn, Scorpio and Aquarius. Check them out next time you visit Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery™!
February 15, 2023: This little Kemp’s was able to make a quick recovery in rehab! Based on bloodwork, a physical exam and many other bench marks, it was decided that it was time for Pisces to go home! They made the trek down to Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida to be released in warmer waters along with eight of their turtle friends. Wish them luck out in the big blue!