Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Stranding Location: Folly Beach Fishing Pier

Arrival Date: 07/11/2014

Age: Juvenile

Weight: 4.0 kg (~9 lb.)

Case History

This young Kemp’s ridley was caught on hook and line by a pier fisherman on the evening of July 11. The turtle swallowed the hook so the fisherman was unable to remove it himself. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was contacted so the endangered sea turtle could be transported to the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital.

Treatment

This little turtle was named Blu after BLU Restaurant and Bar located at the fishing pier where the Kemp’s ridley was caught. BLU is a Platinum Partner with the Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative and we highly recommend it!
Blu was admitted on a Friday evening and because sea turtles sometimes take hours to fully wake up after sedation, it was decided not to sedate for hook removal that evening. After obtaining a heart rate and taking blood for analysis, x-rays were taken to find the exact location of the hook. Finally, Normosol fluids were administered subcutaneously so combat dehydration and replenish electrolytes.

Updates

12 July 2014: Blu was transported to the Birds and Exotics Vet Clinic on Saturday afternoon where our consulting veterinarian, Dr. Biascoechea, administered sedatives and performed hook removal surgery. The surgery took approximately 40 minutes because the hook was do deeply seated in the esophagus. When it was time to wake the turtle, reversal drugs were administered and the turtle was given fluids and injectable antibiotics.

6 August 2014: This little ridley refused to eat during his first week in our hospital, likely due in part to pain associated with being caught on a fisherman’s hook. However, he has been enjoying a diet rich in vitamin D (salmon) and calcium (smelt) since July 18th. Blu passed a thorough physical exam yesterday with flying colors, and we are hopeful he will be ready to return to the deep blue sea once he completes a round of antibiotics and a subsequent 21-day observation period. Prognosis is good.

Release Date

September 5, 2014

Release Location

Folly Beach County Park, SC