Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Stranding Location: Factory Creek off Beaufort River, Beaufort, SC
Arrival Date: 5/4/2019
Weight: 3.99 kg (8.8 pounds)
Butch and Caroline Mumma were on their dock in Beaufort, SC when they noticed friend, Stuart Harvey, in his boat circling something not far from them. Stuart found Pumbaa struggling to dive and thought the animal might need some help. The rescuers called the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and SCDNR decided that Pumbaa needed additional help. The Mummas set up a shallow water container and waited with him until SCDNR arrived. Michelle Pate, SCDNR Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, transported Pumbaa to the South Carolina Aquarium for further treatment.
At admit Pumbaa was a little lethargic but was in good condition. Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) staff triaged him immediately. Pumbaa’s bloodwork was about average, he was slightly dehydrated, and his glucose level was down. He received fluids, vitamins, and an antibiotic to help him feel a little better. Overall, Pumbaa looked to be in good body condition; he just had a couple scrapes on his plastron and some bruising. CT images showed a lot of gas inside the GI track, which explains the floating. It is hard to know why there is so much gas inside of him — it can be several things causing it. Pumbaa was set up in a waterbed to relax overnight.
May 7, 2019: The following day, Pumbaa was placed into a tank with very low water. He became active as soon as we put him in and was slightly caudally buoyant. Since there is so much gas in his GI, we don’t want to offer him food until he starts moving stuff along. We are watching closely for any defecations as well as any marine debris inside of the fecal. Sometimes ingested debris can cause the animals to float. Pumbaa will be receiving fluids, vitamins, and antibiotics for a few more weeks. The fluids and vitamins will help Pumbaa get some nutrition because he isn’t eating right now. The antibiotics will help him fight off anything he might have just from being in the wild. Pumbaa is settling nicely into his new, temporary home.