Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Griffin Island, Duck Harbor Landing, MA

Arrival Date: 01/15/2012

Age: juvenile

Weight: 4.56 kg (~10 lb)

Case History

Mason is one of seven sea turtles transferred to the SCA’s Sea Turtle Hospital on January 15th, 2012, from the New England Aquarium (NEAq). All seven turtles originally cold-stunned around Cape Cod, MA, in November and December 2011, and were initially treated by NEAq’s Marine Animal Rescue Team. Thanks to the owner of North American Jets, Mason Holland, and the pilot of the fuel-efficient Eclipse 500 jet, Andy Smith, these 7 turtles received complimentary first-class airfare to our facility to finish their rehabilitation. This transfer not only aids NEAq by freeing up limited resources, but also will allow these seven sea turtles to be released back into the wild at an earlier date.

Treatment

After stranding in Massachusetts on December 10th, this turtle was treated with antibiotics, antifungal medicine, iron dextran, eye meds, and vitamins by the NEAq. While Mason was stable enough for transport to our facility in January, his breathing was more audible at admission than it should be, and radiographs indicate some minor abnormalities in his lungs. This 3.84 kg ridley is the only one of the seven transferred still in need of antibiotics, and we are hopeful we can resolve his respiratory issue in the near future.

Updates

15 March 2012: Mason has been off antibiotics for over a month and his lungs are clear. However, he has developed minor inflammation of the joints at the very tips of both front flippers. We are monitoring the degradation of these joints with regular radiographs and, while there is some damage to the bone currently, the joints seems to have stabilized. Hopefully this minor osteomyelitis will not impede Mason’s return to the wild!

17 April 2012: SCDNR helped tag all of our cold-stunned ridleys except Merigo today, so Mason now sports shiny flipper tags on each front flipper in preparation for his release.

Release Date

04/29/2012

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park, SC