Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Rescued from water at First Encounter Beach, Eastham, MA
Arrival Date: 01/15/2012
Weight: 5.02 kg (~11 lb)
Eastham 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.
Eastham was no doubt the feistiest and largest (3.72 kg) of the seven turtles admitted. This was a promising sign, as this ridley was poorly responsive and required mechanical ventilation after stranding near Cape Cod on December 11th. Eastham’s core body temperature was only 44 degrees Fahrenheit when he stranded, so he is lucky to be alive and we are grateful for the efforts of NEAq to rehabilitate this turtle. Eastham is doing well in our hospital and is sharing a tank with Mason. We are hopeful Eastham will be a candidate for a spring release.
15 March 2012: Eastham is now enjoying more swimming room and a new tank-mate: Andrew. Still the largest and most aggressive ridley we have, Eastham has responded well to the care provided by our staff and volunteers (and initially by NEAq!) and is doing great!
17 April 2012: SCDNR helped tag all of our cold-stunned ridleys except Merigo today, so Eastham now sports shiny flipper tags on each front flipper in preparation for his release.
Isle of Palms County Park, SC