Fleming is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found stranded on Cumberland Island, Georgia on March 12, 2013.
Randy is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found struggling in the surf on Talbot Island, Florida on March 11, 2013.
Kaci is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found floating near the St. Mary’s pier on March 11, 2013.
Xalvis is a juvenile green sea turtle who stranded on Huguenot Park , Florida on March 11. 2013.
Sandy Hook is a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle who stranded on Fernandina Beach, Florida on March 11, 2013.
Carlos is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found stranded on Fernandina Beach, Florida on March 10, 2013.
Benny is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found stranded on Atlantic Beach, Florida on March 9, 2013.
Musgrove is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found floating in the St. Catherines Island sound in Georgia on March 8, 2013.
Nalley is a juvenile green sea turtle who stranded on Jacksonville Beach, Florida on February 27, 2013.
Fox is a juvenile green sea turtle who stranded on Black Hammock Island in Florida on February 2, 2013. Upon arrival Fox was slightly thin and had a moderate amount of large barnacles on the shell. He/she also had some scrapes on the plastron (bottom shell). Fox is missing his/her right front flipper, but this was an older wound and is almost completely healed. Fox also had low glucose (blood sugar), so was given fluids and tube fed honey. Fox is doing very well, swimming and eating and defecating and has already graduated to a three foot deep tank.
Macy is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found stranded on Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida on January 25, 2013. Macy was a little thin and was heavily covered with epibiota (specifically sea squirts) on arrival. Macy had a slightly low glucose, or blood sugar, level as well. We treated Macy with fluids and started him/her on antibiotics and placed him/her in shallow fresh water. Radiographs revealed a dislocation in his/her right rear flipper, but it is not stopping Macy from using that limb. Macy is currently eating and defecating normally and is gaining weight!
Mahi is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found on the beach at the GTM Research Reserve in Ponte Vedra, Florida on January 14, 2013. Mahi was entangled in monofilament line that wrapped around his/her right front flipper and was attached to some nearby driftwood and a picnic table. Additionally she had line coming out of his/her mouth. Upon arrival, it was obvious that Mahi was in need of emergency surgery to remove the fishing line from around his/her flipper and from his/her GI tract. Incisions were made in Mahi’s inguinal area (where the rear flipper attaches to the body) and the neck to access the GI tract and esophagus. Fortunately for Mahi, the line was removed from the stomach and was not any further through the digestive tract where it could have caused significantly more damage. The monofilament line that was wrapped around the upper flipper had cut down to the bone and the flipper tissue was no longer viable. We were forced to amputate Mahi’s right front flipper. After taking about 14 hours to recover from anesthesia, Mahi began to make amazing progress. Just a couple of days after surgery Mahi was swimming in deep water and eating food off of the bottom of his/her tank. Today Mahi is able to handle water three feet deep and continues to eat and defecate normally. Mahi is on antibiotics and is still getting his/her amputation site cleaned every other day. We are continuing to monitor him/her closely.
On January 14, 2013 we received 7 more cold stunned loggerhead sea turtles from the New England Aquarium. Every winter the northeast sees hundreds of cold stunned sea turtles, especially in and around the Cape Cod Bay. This year was no exception with the New England Aquarium receiving over 100 kemp’s ridley sea turtles. However, on top of that, they also received over 100 larger sub-adult loggerhead sea turtles. Due to unusually large numbers of these larger, more aggressive loggerheads (they usually only see 1-5), the NEAq put out a call for help. The GSTC along with South Carolina and Florida facilities answered their call! We currently have 7 loggerheads from New England that are being rehabilitated. We have already released 4 of these turtles (Nantucket, Truro, Mashpee, and Yarmouth), and hope to release the other three soon!
May is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found floating at the Morningstar Marina in Mayport, Florida on December 14, 2012. May arrived with a boat strike to the nuchal scute (the part of the carapace that is directly behind the turtles head) that also lacerated the skin of his/her neck. He/she also had a couple of fractures to his/her plastron (bottom shell) and a fish hook in his/her mouth. Fortunately the fish hook was very easily removed and caused no damage to May’s beak (or rhamphotheca). We have been treating May’s fractures with a variety of methods including medihoney, honey and honeycomb, wound vac, rediheal and bone cement. He/she also received supportive care in the form of fluids and tube feeding until she finally started eating on her own. She was also on antibiotics and daily bandage changes but now is only being treated once a week. CT scan revealed a fracture to one of May’s vertebrae. It has taken May a long time to finally be able to handle deep water, and for the first couple of weeks he/she was kept on water soaked sponges (what we call a “waterbed”). Currently May is able to handle about 9 inches of water, and has begun eating well!
Cadet is a juvenile green sea turtle who stranded on Cumberland Island, Georgia on December 7, 2012. Upon arrival Cadet was slightly cold and lethargic. He/she is also missing his/her front right flipper, but it is an old injury and is completely healed already. Blood work revealed Cadet’s glucose (blood sugar) was extremely low. Cadet was started on our usual supportive care, however was given fluids with a higher dextrose (sugar) concentration in an effort to get his/her glucose back up. We also tube fed him/her honey initially, again, to try to increase his/her glucose. Cadet was not quite cold enough upon arrival to be considered a “cold stun”; however we were still careful to warm him/her back up slowly. His/her glucose was back up to a normal level by the end of his/her second day in rehab and has since been moved into deeper water and is eating and defecating.
Atlas is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found floating underneath the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Florida on October 8, 2012. Upon arrival, Atlas was lethargic, thin, and has a boat strike to the carapace. We have been keeping the wound clean and treating it with medihoney and honey/honeycomb bandages. Atlas is being tube fed and is on antibiotics and pain killers. He/she has defecated a couple of times and uses his/her flippers well in water. CT scans showed a fracture to the last cervical vertebra.
Neptune is a juvenile green sea turtle who stranded on Atlantic Beach in Jacksonville, Florida on October 5, 2012. Neptune has an old healed posterior carapace fracture that may have been caused by a boat propeller. Upon arrival Neptune was lethargic and floating when placed in shallow water. He/she was initially treated with fluids and started on antibiotics. Radiographs revealed a lot of gas in his/her GI tract. Neptune was also taken for CT scans, which showed a vertebral fracture in the area of the old boat strike injury. He/she has a good appetite and has been defecating, with the help of Cisapride, a gut motility enhancing drug.
Stevie is a juvenile kemp’s ridley sea turtle that was pulled up by the Lady Jane (a local shrimp boat that provides eco-tours of coastalGeorgia) in the St. Simons sound on June 21, 2012. Stevie had been hit by a boat and sustained two parallel slicing wounds to the carapace and plastron. One wound only affected marginal (outermost) carapace, while the other caused a bit more damage, with the propeller entering the body cavity and likely affecting some internal organs. Significant blood loss occurred initially. Fortunately for Steve, the wounds were very fresh, so there had not been time for infection to set in. We were able to immediately start Stevie on antibiotics and pain killers and begin treating the wound. We have been treating Stevie’s wound by flushing it with chlorhexidine and saline, debridement and by alternating wound vac therapy (negative pressure wound therapy) and medihoney with water-proof bandaging. Stevie has a healthy appetite and is healing very well. We hope that Stevie will be ready to go next spring!
Fern is a juvenile green sea turtle who stranded on Amelia Island, Florida on April 14, 2012. Upon arrival, Fern was slightly debilitated and suffered from some minor keratin loss on his/her carapace due to epibiota. Despite good nutrition and care, Fern is still anemic and has low iron. It was also noticed that Fern has a smaller than average cloacal opening. We recently used an endoscope to take a look at what was going on. For some reason Fern is retaining feces. We have begun treating this with steroid enemas and weekly scoping and cleanings and antibiotics.
Hugue (pronounced “Hue”) is a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle who was found stranded in HuguenotParkin Jacksonville, Fl on December 29, 2011. Hugue was debilitated and slightly cold stunned upon arrival. We slowly brought Hugue back up to a normal temperature (75-80 degrees Fahrenheit) and treated him/her with iron supplementation, fluids, antibiotics, and nutritional support. Additionally, the turtle had several wounds that have required fairly intensive wound care. Most of these have healed and now we are just treating a deep abscess at the plastron/skin interface, Initial blood work revealed a low packed cell volume (PCV) indicating he/she was anemic and a low blood protein. During the rehabilitation process, Hugue developed some additional abnormalities to the blood work, elevated liver enzymes and evidence of inflammation. A milk thistle product and an oral antibiotic have been used to treat the potential liver disease. Luckily, Hugue had a healthy appetite fairly early on and has put on a good amount of weight and the PCV is back up to a good level. We are hopeful to release Hugue in the near future as soon as the wound has healed and the liver enzymes have dropped to acceptable levels.
Captain is a juvenile green sea turtle who was found floating at the Mayport Naval Base on October 15, 2010. Captain presented with a boat strike injury on the midline of the posterior carapace and 2 plastron injuries. All injuries have healed up very nicely. Unfortunately, a CT scan revealed the injury to the carapace caused compression of the spine with partial paralysis to the rear flippers and damage to the innervation to the gastrointestinal tract. Captain has a hard time keeping his/her rear end level in the water because the movement of the gastrointestinal tract has been affected which in turn causes gas buildup. Captain has been treated with cisapride, a gut motility enhancing drug, to ensure he/she is defecating regularly. Additionally, we are utilizing weight therapy to assist with the hind end floating abnormality.
Caton is a sub-adult female loggerhead sea turtle that was found stranded on South Beach of Blackbeard Island, Georgia on June 2, 2009. Caton was named after Jan Caton, a former JIA employee and founder of the Jekyll Island Sea Turtle Project. Upon arrival, it was discovered that she was floating. Radiographs revealed a blockage caused by shell and crab parts which lead to excess gas build up in front of the blockage. She was rehydrated and treated with Cisapride (a gut motility enhancing medication) and numerous other drugs and supportive medications. After several months of treatment, Caton had improved and was swimming normally in her tank. Blood testosterone levels revealed that Caton is a female. She was scheduled for release on October 9, 2009 but after her final physical and satellite transmitter placement she stopped eating and defecating. Radiographs revealed a large quantity of crab parts and fish bones that were causing another blockage. Endoscopy of her distal rectum and cloaca revealed severe irritation to the lining of the GI tract and was diagnosed as an ulcerative colitis. She was started on a treatment regimen of enemas, corticosteroid repositories, antibiotics, anti-parasite drugs and tube feedings of mineral oil and a nutrient rich gruel. Unfortunately she missed her release date and will be spending the winter with us. She is now back to normal and is eating and defecating normally.
We attempted a 2nd release of Caton on December 28, 2009 from Cape Canaveral National Sea Shore, FL where the ocean temperatures are still within an acceptable range. However, the release was unsuccessful. She became lethargic and susceptible to waves coercing her back onshore. The decision was made to return her the the GSTC for further care.
On October 11, 2010 we loaded Caton onto a boat and took her offshore in a final release attempt. After looking stressed out for about 20 minutes she began to dive and act like a normal sea turtle! Unfortunately, about two weeks later, GSTC staff was called to a sea turtle stranding on the south end of Jekyll Island. Sure enough, it was Caton.