Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant, SC
Arrival Date: 8/27/20
Weight: 2.56 kg (5.63 lbs)
Septima Clark was hooked by a fisher on the Mount Pleasant Pier in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina on Thursday evening, August 27. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was contacted immediately. They dispatched volunteer transporter and permit holder Barb Gobien to retrieve the turtle and bring her to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™.
Upon arrival, staff took a radiograph (x-ray) to get an accurate location of the hook. Unfortunately, the line was cut very short, but the x-ray helped staff discern if the hook could be removed via the mouth or if surgery was necessary. Septima was sedated shortly after the radiograph, vitals were monitored, morphometrics were recorded and blood was processed. Once Septima was fully sedated, vet staff and the biologist on call set to work to remove the hook through the mouth. It took quite a while and was not without frustration, but eventually Dr. Boylan was able to successfully remove the hook from her esophagus. Septima’s sedation was reversed, and she spent the night in a bed of foam until she could be placed in a tank for monitoring.
August 8, 2020: Septima has been doing well in her tank! We are fasting her to allow the puncture from the hook in her throat to heal before we feed her. She will receive fluids this weekend to supplement her nutrition while she is fasting, and we will offer a little bit of food on Monday. Our hopes are high for a quick and successful rehab for this feisty chick!
September 15, 2020: Since our last update, Septima has been doing pretty well. She is still receiving antibiotics and getting diet increases. She has a high intestinal parasite load of caryospora for which she is being treated. High amounts of caryopora can cause complications in the gut along with other issues. She will receive the treatment for this in her food once a week for the next couple of weeks to help her get rid of it. We will collect a fecal weekly to monitor the presence of the parasite and to make sure we don’t have to do another round of treatments.