Tater- Sea Turtle Rescue Program


Dec 18


Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: MassachusettsArrival Date: 11/20/2014Age: JuvenileWeight: 1.6 kg (~3 lb.)

Case History

Tater is one of fifteen sea turtles transferred from the New England Aquarium (NEAq) to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital on November 20, 2014. This Kemp’s ridley was one of more than a thousand sea turtles afflicted with severe hypothermia and recovered (alive or dead) from the beaches and nearshore waters of Massachusetts during an unprecedented cold-stunning event in late November 2014. Thanks to the generosity of a private flight donated by Margie and Will Dorminy, owners of Southern Eagle Distributing in Charleston, we are proud to be one of more than 17 facilities nationwide to aid NEAq in caring for the massive number of threatened and endangered sea turtles stranded due to this cold-stunning event.


Covered in algae, this little ridley initially stranded on the beach with a core body temperature of only 54°F on November 15th. The NEAq triage team started this turtle on fluids, antibiotics, and vitamin B injections, although they were unable to assess his eyes and he refused to open them. Upon arrival to our sea turtle hospital on the 20th, this turtle was more alert and cooperative and enabled our vet to note a small adhesion on the left eye; thankfully, the right eye was clear. We will keep a close watch on this turtle’s vision as he continues to heal from the severe hypothermia he experienced.


11 May 2015: All of our cold-stunned ridleys admitted this past winter have officially recovered from severe hypothermia. Although four of our ridleys will stay in our hospital for continued treatment for the joint infection osteomyelitis, this patient was officially medically cleared for release today!

Release Date

May 14, 2015

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park
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