Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: Bulls Bay, SC
Arrival Date: 09/22/2017
Weight: 55.3 kg (122 pounds)
This subadult loggerhead was rescued by boaters in Bulls Bay near the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Gerald was found with a crab pot buoy line entangled around his left rear flipper. Ford Mauney, a Wildlife Biologist at Cape Romain, boated Gerald to the Garris Landing boat ramp where South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) staff members picked him up and transported him to the South Carolina Aquarium.
Gerald was very active and feisty on admit. His carapace was covered in barnacles, sea squirts and mud, but otherwise in good body condition. Staff did a full physical exam noting that the entanglement wound had already shown signs of healing and was not bleeding. There was also a portion of the carapace missing on the left side of the body. This older injury is completely healed and may have been from either a predator attack or a boat strike earlier in his life. Dr. Shane Boylan checked the animal’s eyes for cataracts (none were found) and Whitney Daniel, his assistant, processed blood work. Gerald was is pretty good health according to the blood results! He has been put on antibiotics and will be monitored closely for any issues.
October 1, 2017: Gerald is enjoying his new temporary home! He’s eating eating well and remains very active in his tank. With antibiotics, a nutritional diet and some time we’re hopeful Gerald’s flipper will heal on its own.
October 15, 2017: Gerald’s flipper is healing wonderfully! He was recently pulled for an exam and a Ceftaz (antibiotic) injection, and staff saw how great his back flipper looked. Gerald’s flipper has a few spots with fibrin on it while other spots have completely healed over! He’s eating his full diet of mackerel and salmon and slowly gaining weight. Recently, a back scratcher was added to his tank and he loves every second of it. Gerald is constantly seen swimming around and scratching his back.
November 1, 2017: Gerald received his last antibiotic injection 2 weeks ago and was moved up into Recovery. Gerald’s left rear flipper is healing up extremely well, and he is loving the extra space in his new tank! Swing by Recovery and say hello to Gerald!
November 15, 2017: Gerald is continuing to do great! His flipper looks amazing. Almost all of the fibrin covering the wounds has come off and he has nice healthy skin on his flipper. He continues to eat well and remains active and splashy. He keeps us plenty busy cleaning the windows in Recovery!
December 1, 2017: Gerald is doing wonderfully. His flipper has healed tremendously, and he continues to eat great and stays very splashy! Gerald is going to continue his stay with us for a little longer. Right now he’s in a safe place with great food!
December 15, 2017: Earlier this week Gerald was pulled for a monthly weight and measurement. Overall, Gerald looks great! The laceration on his left rear flipper that was left by the crab pot has healed up tremendously well. Way to go, Gerald!
January 15, 2018: Gerald is continuing to do great! He is eating very well and remains very active in his tank in Recovery. Gerald still has a little ways to go before he heads back home.
February 1, 2018: Gerald is one of our splashiest patients in Recovery, and for that reason, he keeps us super busy cleaning his tank and his window! Gerald’s injured rear flipper has improved so much in the last month!
February 15, 2018: Gerald received a physical exam this week! He’s getting stronger and stronger each time we pull him. The laceration to the left rear flipper is completely healed, and overall Gerald is looking great!
April 1, 2018: Gerald has also been cleared for medical release! Gerald has been through so much in his short sea turtle life, and we are so happy to see this big guy go back to the big blue! Since water temperatures are a little too chilly for release patients off of our coast, we will have to release Gerald offshore in the Gulf Stream, where it’s a warm 70F year round! It’s also where Gerald would be naturally at this time of the year.
April 2, 2018