Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Arrival Date: 11/29/2021
Weight: 3.2 kg (7.04 lbs)
Sven stranded on November 25 in Cape Cod in Wellfleet, Massachusetts due to cold stunning. They were transported to the New England Aquarium they received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. After a few days at the New England Aquarium, Turtles Fly Too pilot, Ed Filangeri, and co-pilot, Glenn Knoblach, picked up over 40 sea turtles and flew them to rehabilitation facilities in North Carolina, Georgia and to us at the South Carolina Aquarium. It truly takes a village to rehabilitate sea turtles!
Sven was one of eight sea turtles transported to us from the New England Aquarium for treatment. Sven stranded only a few days before transport, so their body temperature was checked after they were loaded into the turtle ambulance, along with their heart rate and breathing. Sven did great during the transport, and their body temperature was in the lower 60s. We made sure to set our exam room to a lower temperature to avoid a drastic rise in body temperature during the admit process. Sven had a normal heart rate but was very quiet during the admit process. They received fluids, vitamins and antibiotics. The vet team took x-rays, pulled bloodwork and conducted a full physical exam. We then left Sven to rest comfortably in a foam-padded bin in the hallway and slowly increased their body temperature so we could move them to a tank in the ICU.
December 14, 2021: Since admit, Sven has been doing well! They took a few days to start eating, but they are now right on track! Sven is still receiving antibiotic injections, and we will be increasing their diet and water depth over the next few weeks.
January 15, 2022: Sven is sharing a tank with Hans and Gale. Sven is only a teensy bit larger than Hans and was getting their head up under the divider in their tank — staff quickly devised a solution to prevent that. Sven, as with all of the cold-stun patients, took a few days to acclimate and start nibbling at food. Now Sven is eating great and pooping almost daily!
February 15, 2022: Sven looks great and is as cute as ever. They forage for food very well, defecate often and seem to enjoy exploring new enrichment.
March 15, 2022: Sven is movin’ and groovin’ this past month. They have been really active, eating all of their food and defecating OFTEN. Sven is another one of our turtles that was evaluated for release last week, and we will see how their results turn out. Wish them luck!
April 5, 2022: Sven has returned home! Not to Arendelle, but to the ocean. Sven has fully recovered from their cold stunning and was released at Little Talbot Island State Park in Florida.