Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 04/16/2018
Weight: 32 kg (70.5 pounds)
Hagrid has quite the rescue story! He was found by a couple visiting from Burlington, VT who went beach combing following a set of strong storms in the Lowcountry. Hoping to find some rare and unique shells, they got more than they bargained for! Hagrid was found around 2 am, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) transporter Linda Mataya responded to the call, and met them on the beach at 3 am. Recognizing Hagrid had both debilitated turtle syndrome (DTS) and was cold stunned, Linda transported Hagrid to the South Carolina Aquarium where Sea Turtle Care Center staff (STCC) met his bright and early to admit this sick turtle.
Upon admit, Hagrid’s body temperature was in the upper 50s and his heart rate was extremely low- about 3 beats per minute. Knowing his body temperature was low ahead of time, we lowered the room temperature so that Hagrid did not warm up too quickly. A blood draw was taken to better access his critical condition. Blood work results indicated dehydration, so fluid therapy was started. Hetastarch was administered intravenously to help pull the fluids into the vascular space so that they can be properly circulated throughout the body. Hagrid was also started on antibiotics, and calcium injections to help replenish the calcium lost due to debilitation. Hagrid was covered in a heavy epibiota load, and algae covered the top of his head, face and front flippers which made his look “hairy”. Once stabilized, Hagrid’s heart rate improved slightly, and he was placed in a waterbed made of foam and shallow low-salinity water to rest comfortably. Hagrid is the first DTS patient to be admitted this year.
April 17, 2018: The day after admit, Hagrid’s heart rate improved, and he received more subcutaneous (under the skin) fluids. Hagrid was taken down to the basement to get intensive care and placed in a tank with very shallow water. Hagrid perked up immediately and slowly swam around the tank! Hagrid’s prognosis is guarded until further diagnostics can be performed, but he is hanging in there!
May 15, 2018: Hagrid has finished his course of antibiotics and now in a full-depth tank! He is still getting diet increases but has gained about 8 lbs since he was admitted. Hagrid still has a lot of weight left to gain but is on the up and up in terms of rehabilitation.
June 1, 2018: Hagrid is cruising along in his rehabilitation! All of his “hair” has fallen off and he’s completed a round of antibiotics. Now he just needs time and a steady nutritious diet to put on weight and recover from the effects of debilitation. Hagrid is a very active patient who loves his backscratcher!
June 15, 2018: Hagrid has been moved up into Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery and is living the good life in his new tank! Hagrid has gained nearly 15 lbs since admit and is looking fantastic. Swing by and say “hi”!
July 1, 2018: Hagrid is doing wonderfully up in Recovery. One of our biologists, Katelyn, was recently reviewing photos of him from admit to now and Hagrid has made tremendous progress. We are just giving him more time to gain weight and get his blood values up to healthy levels. Hagrid is hanging in there!
July 15, 2018: Hagrid is doing wonderfully in Recovery! We are just giving him more time to gain weight and get stronger. Hagrid really enjoys his fish pops and is looking great overall!
August 1, 2018: Hagrid is doing phenomenally! He was pulled for a weight and measurement last week and has gained over 20 pounds since being admitted in March! Hagrid’s body condition has improved significantly and he is one feisty fella! Hagrid will be pulled for blood work and a physical exam by our vet staff to potentially be evaluated for release in the next few months!
August 15, 2018: Hagrid continues to do well and is cruising through rehab. We are just giving him more time to gain weight and improve.
September 1, 2018: Exciting news for Hagrid! Later this week he will receive a blood pull, physical exam and be tagged for potential release in the coming weeks! Stay tuned for the results!
October 1, 2018: Hagrid was pulled for tagging last month, and though he looked great, his blood work didn’t quite make the cut. We are going to give him some more time before we pull him again for another blood work recheck. Other than that, Hagrid is doing well, and we are hoping to release him soon!
October 15, 2018: Hagrid is doing well! We recently pulled him for another weight check, and he’s steadily gaining weight. The main areas that still need to improve are his weight and blood work. Hagrid will most likely continue rehabilitation through the winter months to allow him more time to get his blood values and weight up.
November 1, 2018: Hagrid has been cruising through rehab and in an effort to spice up his current situation, we did some Halloween themed enrichment with a pumpkin-shaped fish pop. Hagrid was pretty indifferent about it, but he did enjoy his yummy fish popsicle.
November 15, 2018: Hagrid has recently been difficult about eating his vitamins and is chewing them up when he finds them stuffed in his fish. Next week, we will pull Hagrid for another monthly weight and measurement to see if he’s closer to being a release candidate. Sometimes it takes DTS patients a long time to fully recover from the effects of DTS.