Spartina | South Carolina Aquarium


Jul 04


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: Pritchards Island in Beaufort County

Arrival Date: June 21, 2016

Age: Juvenile

Weight: 28 lbs

Case HistoryDSC_4909

Discovered on Pritchards Island in Beaufort County, this young green sea turtle was found washed up into a tidal pool on the beach. Paula and Jeanée Demosthenes were visiting the uninhabited island from nearby Fripp Island and immediately recognized the boat propeller wounds on the margin of the sea turtle. They knew it needed medical attention so under the direction of SCDNR, carefully moved it to their boat and paddled the turtle to Fripp Island so it could be transported to our Sea Turtle Hospital.


At first glance, the propeller strikes on the left margin did not appear very serious but upon closer inspection to the ventral side, our team found that the wounds were quite severe. Diagnostics were performed (blood work, heartrate, x-rays) and “Spartina” received supportive care including fluids with vitamin B complex and calcium gluconate, as well as antibiotics. Wound debridement (removing dead tissue from wounds) was our next step. The majority of the necrotic tissue was removed and the wounds were flushed with sterile saline and treated topically. Staff will continue monitoring Spartina’s lungs for any damage caused by the boat strikes.



August 17, 2016: Spartina has been through lot since her arrival! Initially, Spartina’s propeller wounds were looked over and treated with antibiotics and a twice-weekly bandage change. Since then, we’ve discovered the propeller damaged the stomach, so Spartina is undergoing IV nutrition in order to bypass the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Spartina also needed surgery to repair the hole in her stomach. The marginal scutes (the outer most scutes on the carapace) were removed and the wound was heavily debrided. During surgery, it was discovered that Spartina’s stomach is now partially adhered to the body wall, and the remaining tear was sutured closed. Thankfully, Spartina recovered well from surgery. He/she is receiving antibiotics and pain management drugs, as well as a bandage change every day. Spartina is currently dry docked, meaning she/he is not able to be submerged in water, to allow the wound to heal and prevent infection.

September 13, 2016: We are sad to report that, despite our best efforts, Spartina passed away.

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