Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Isle of Palms Pier, SC
Arrival Date: 05/07/18
Weight: 2.41 kg (5.3 pounds)
Farrah was accidently caught on hook-and-line off of Isle of Palms Pier. Luckily, fisherman Kevin Brock called the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Kevin reached volunteer transporters Barb Gobien and Barb Bergwerf who able to get this little turtle to us for a hook removal pronto! This turtle was lovingly named by Prudence and Bill Finn in honor of a close family friend, Farrah. Bill is a longtime donor and founding board member of the South Carolina Aquarium.
Upon admit, Farrah’s vitals were taken, blood was drawn and radiographs were taken immediately. Following the advice of Barb Gobien, the fisherman left the line long and intact so we had more to work with for its removal. Lucky for Farrah, the hook did not appear to be swallowed. It was lodged in the back of her throat and could be accessed without an incision. Light sedation was given, and after a few minutes of manipulating the hook, Dr. Shane Boylan was able to successfully remove it. Farrah’s heart rate was fairly inconsistent throughout her entire admit process and had to be carefully monitored throughout the day as she recovered from the effects of the sedation. By the afternoon, Farrah was able to be placed in a tank with shallow water.
May 8, 2018: Farrah has been quiet but alert and responsive. Staff offered her some food, but so far she has not shown any interest. We are hopeful that she will start eating in the next few days. Farrah was started on a course of antibiotics to prevent any infection caused by the hook and receives an injection biweekly.
May 15, 2018: A few days following her admit, Farrah had issues swimming normally and was very lethargic. Though we do expect that at first, it took her a few days to get over the hump. Farrah has turned a corner and finally began eating this week! Sometimes it takes new patients a few days to a week or more to begin eating. Farrah is now about half a tank in depth and is much stronger.
June 1, 2018: Farrah is almost finished with her antibiotics and looking well! Due to Farrah’s size, she competes with her tank neighbor Tonks for cutest sea turtle patient in our care. Once she’s finished with her antibiotics, she’ll hopefully receive a clean bill of health in the next few weeks.
June 15, 2018: Farrah is cruising along in her rehab! She is at a great weight and is looking good! Hopefully Farrah will be a release candidate in the near future!
July 1, 2018: Farrah was pulled this week for tagging day! Her blood was pulled to access her blood values, a physical exam was administered and she received a P.I.T tag, similar to a microchip under her skin. Farrah was also moved into our exercise tank, and we are studying how she uses that tank. Hopefully, Farrah will receive flying colors for release in the near future!