Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Folly Beach Pier, SC

Arrival Date: 04/15/2011

Age: juvenile

Weight: 1.78 kg (4 lb)

Case History

Caught on hook-and-line by a fisherman at Folly Beach’s Edwin S. Taylor Pier, this little Kemp’s ridley is the first live stranding of 2011 and is the second smallest ridley ever treated in our hospital at 1.78 kg (~4 lb). Kemp’s ridleys are prone to being caught on hook-and-line, and we are hopeful more fishermen will begin to report deeply hooked sea turtles to the SCDNR so that these critically endangered turtles can be transported to our hospital for hook removal surgery before being released back into the wild.

Treatment

Taylor arrived at 9:00 P.M. on 15 April 2011 with shrimp bait still caught in his upper beak (the hook was removed prior to transport). He appeared dehydrated and in moderately poor condition, with multiple barnacles on his shell and numerous abrasions. Taylor received fluids and antibiotics, and his lesions were treated topically with silver sulfadiazine cream. Initial radiographs revealed no fishing hooks were present internally (a great sign). After fasting for 3 days, Taylor is eagerly munching on bits of smelt and squid, and we’ll increase his diet gradually over the next week.

Updates

4 May 2011: Taylor is eating 3% of her body weight in fish daily, and her abrasions are healing well. Her GI tract is not producing fecal material normally yet, so we are closely monitoring her diet and GI health until then. However, s/he is very active and loves to swim in her tank!

23 May 2011: This little ridley is a favorite among our tour guests and staff! Taylor is an active turtle, she produces fecals well, her food has been increased to 4% of her body weight daily, and her lesions are almost completely healed. Hopefully this little ridley will be released this summer!

Release Date

06/17/2011

Release Location

Isle of Palms County Park, SC