Virgo | South Carolina Aquarium


Jan 04


Green (Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Location: Cape Cod Bay, MA
Arrival Date: 11/27/22
Age: Juvenile
Weight: 2.9 kg (6.38 lbs)

Case History

This turtle is one of many that stranded up in the New England area due to cold stunning, the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia. New England Aquarium admits hundreds of turtles during the colder winter months; this year, we were able to take in 15 of these turtles to help lighten their load. We coordinate with New England Aquarium and a non-profit called Turtles Fly Too to transport the turtles here. Many thanks to pilot Steve Bernstein and his son Owen for flying them from New England down to Charleston!


Upon admit, Virgo had a strong heart rate and was taking great breaths. Staff found that both of Virgo’s eyes were clear and free of scratches, or abrasions. Virgo was, however, still a little chilly and had a heavy load of epibiota (barnacles etc.) indicating they may have been stranded for awhile. They were started on fluids and antibiotics. Based on their assessment, staff was comfortable water testing Virgo in a full tank, and they did great!


December 15, 2022: Virgo was a little hesitant to eat at first, but once they realized that the items being placed in their tank were food, they went right for it! They also started defecating immediately — more than once a day! They continue to heal and do well!

January 15, 2023: Virgo is doing well! They have finished their antibiotic injections and are now on a weighted diet.

February 15, 2023: This little green was able to make a quick recovery in rehab! Based on bloodwork, a physical exam and many other bench marks, it was decided that it was time for Pisces to go home! They made the trek down to Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida to be released in warmer waters along with eight of their turtle friends. Wish them luck out in the big blue!

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