loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Stranding Location: Hilton Head Island, SC

Arrival Date: 06/20/2013

Age: juvenile

Weight: 28.0 kg (~ 62 lb.)

Case History

This young loggerhead was found stuck in the marsh in Hilton Head Island. Affectionately named Pluff after the mud that is found in lowcountry marshes, the loggerhead was the third sea turtle stranding to be admitted to the Sea Turtle Hospital on June 20th 2013!

Treatment

At admittance, Pluff was very lethargic and had a moderately high barnacle coverage. Blood gas values were terrible (PCV 11%, TS 0.5.), revealing s/he was both hypoproteinemic (low blood protein) and anemic (low level of red blood cells). Pluff’s TS value, is the lowest we have ever seen! Antibiotics, vitamins and fluid therapy were all immediately started.

Updates

24 July 2013: Pluff continues to surprise STH staff and volunteers with his perky attitude and love of food. Behaviorally, he’s consistently been stronger and more active than other turtles admitted with better bloodwork. His body will still need a significant amount of time to heal, but his prognosis is good.

7 October 2013: Pluff was officially cleared for release on October 3rd! This is such amazing news considering how poor the prognosis was for this juvenile loggerhead when he was admitted last June. He has regained his health rapidly this past summer and is currently enjoying sun baths outside several times a week. This natural UV exposure is important for sea turtles to reach optimum health, as it facilitates vitamin D synthesis which, in turn, improves bone health. Pluff is looking quite handsome and is ready to go home!

Release Date

October 10, 2013

Release Location

Folly Beach County Park