Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Seabrook Island, Charleston, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 7/25/2021
Weight: 1.29 kg ( 2.83 lbs)
Pyrite was caught on hook-and-line by a fisher on Seabrook Island. The fisher attempted to remove the hook, but unfortunately the hook was a little flimsy and it broke as they tried to remove it. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was contacted and SCDNR permit holder, Joshua Shilko, was dispatched. They waited with the turtle until SCDNR technician, Cami Duquet, could arrive and transport Pyrite to the Sea Turtle Care Center™ for hook removal.
When the patient arrived, admitting staff was not expecting her to be so small! They noticed that there was no line attached to this hook, which makes hook removal a little trickier. But no need to worry, we have an incredibly talented vet staff team. At admit, Pyrite was active and even a little feisty. Admitting care staff got a weight, took an x-ray to determine the location of the hook and pulled some blood. When Dr. Boylan opened Pyrite’s mouth he could see that the hook was located in the glottis. Based on the bloodwork results, it was decided to wait until the following morning to attempt to remove the hook. For the evening, Pyrite received pain management drugs and was placed in a padded bin with some water to rest overnight. Early the following morning, Dr. Boylan was able to remove the hook with light sedation! Pyrite received fluid therapy, was started on a course of antibiotics and spent the rest of the day resting in a padded bin and sleeping off the sedation.
August 15, 2021: Pyrite has been doing great since admit. We fasted Pyrite for a few days to allow the trauma caused by the hook in his mouth to heal. Once we were able to start offering fish, Pyrite ate immediately, which is a great sign! Pyrite is still on antibiotics and will continue to get diet increases over the next few weeks. Overall, Pyrite is doing well!
August 15, 2021: Pyrite has been settling in nicely since he arrived late last month. He has had a busy couple of weeks. We held off on offering food for a few days to allow time for his mouth to heal from the hook removal. But since then, he has been eating very well and finds the food with ease. He is defecating but not with any consistency yet, so we are monitoring closely and collecting fecals. They have a couple more antibiotic injections left but after that, he doesn’t have any other current medical treatments. In other news, Pyrite got a roommate: Amethyst! These two are sharing a tank in the hospital to create more open tanks for any potential new patients.
September 15, 2021: Pyrite has finished his antibiotic treatments this month. Over the past few weeks, he has gotten some new enrichment added to his tank: a head tube and seagrass! Pyrite has a little more time in rehab, and staff will continue to monitor his progress. Pyrite and Amethyst are doing well together in their cozy, two-bedroom tank!
October 15, 2021: This past month, Pyrite was evaluated for release which means he had his bloodwork evaluated and was tagged. Good news: He was cleared by our vet staff! On October 14, Pyrite was released back to the big blue on Folly Beach!