Ryan | South Carolina Aquarium


Aug 01


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: Myrtle Beach State Park Pier, Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 7/17/23
Age: Juvenile
Weight: 2.28 kg (5.0 lbs)

Case History

On the afternoon of July 17, a juvenile green sea turtle was caught on a fish hook at Myrtle Beach State Park Pier. A fisherman caught this little turtle and used a dip net to safely bring the turtle on to the pier. Sea Turtle Care Center™ staff are grateful for the help this green received from the fisherman, park ranger and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.


Upon admit, the new patient was taking good breaths and had a strong heart ate. With turtles caught on a fish hook, a radiograph is always taken to identify the location of the hook. This helps staff more easily prepare for a removal plan. Another extremely helpful “tool” for locating and retrieving a fish hook is when the line is still attached. In Ryan’s case, there was a good bit of line attached which was very helpful! If you catch a sea turtle, please leave about 1–2 feet of line and tape it to the back of the turtle’s shell, that way they don’t continue to swallow it. Based on blood values and animal behavior, staff decided it was safe to attempt an oral hook removal approach. The turtle was lightly sedated and within 30 minutes, Ryan’s hook was removed! Post-hook removal, Ryan received antibiotics, fluids and vitamins. Staff was very happy with how quickly the patient recovered from sedation and felt comfortable enough to put Ryan in a full tank of water! It is always a good feeling, knowing a new patient is strong enough for a full tank.


July 23, 2023: Since Ryan arrived at the Care Center a week ago, they’ve already reached some important milestones. Ryan began eating food with ease, was started on oral vitamins, began defecating and was approved to receive enrichment! Although we are grateful for the defecations, we were sad to discover many pieces of plastics found within them. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Ryan to ensure they do not develop any impactions from the ingested plastics. Wish them luck!

August 15, 2023: Ryan is no longer defecating plastic, and the extra good news is that the plastic does not seem to have caused an impaction! This juvenile green defecates multiple times a day. Ryan continues to eat everything offered and has started taking vitamins! So far Ryan has seemed to enjoy every enrichment item we have offered, which includes a PVC backscratcher and a colorful hula-hoop.

September 15, 2023: Ryan has been tagged and is being evaluated for release! After assessing the patient’s behavior and weight gain, our vet staff takes a final blood sample to ensure that the patient’s blood values are within range of a healthy sea turtle. If Ryan passes the blood work “test”, s/he will be cleared for release.

September 28, 2023: Ryan received a clean bill of health and has been released! This little green was released in the wonderful saltmarsh habitat in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Wish Ryan the best of luck on the journey home! Happy swimming, Ryan!

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