Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 08/24/2009
Weight: 41 kg (~ 90 pounds)
We received a 36 kg (80 lb) loggerhead from North Myrtle Beach with a history of rope entanglement around the head and neck. The animal’s carapace was 100% covered with tube worms, smothering many of the barnacles which covered 65-75% of the carapace. The animal is very anemic (11 PCV), severely emaciated, and moderately hypoproteinemic. A few leeches were found on the soft tissue. We did find 4 brittle stars on the carapace, an epibiont we haven’t seen before. Glucose was 80 mg/dl – a good value considering the degree of emaciation.
Treatment included fluids, IV hetastarch, iron, Vit B, and antibiotics. This animal is a fighter despite the dangerously low PCV; having a little blood glucose helps it appears. S/he was left in a shallow pool of freshwater overnight.
19 January 2010: Scute is doing well! S/he is an aggressive eater, will consume all of the various types of fish we feed (mackerel, smelt, blue runner, etc.), and has maintained a healthy weight over the past few months. Scute is also an expert at catching an consuming live blue crab, a natural food source we offer as one form of enrichment.
Isle of Palms County Park, SC