Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: Hunting Island State Park, SC
Arrival Date: 6/3/19
Age: Adult female
Weight: 118.6 kgs (260 pounds)
Banzai was spotted stranded on a sand bar at low tide by visitors to Hunting Island State Park. When the visitors approached, they noticed some injuries to her flippers and neck and contacted Hunting Island State Park officials. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) was contacted and transporters Buddy Lawrence, and Chris Crossley drove this large adult loggerhead to us for treatment.
Upon admit, Banzai’s injuries appeared to be caused by a predator attack, most likely a shark. A portion of her right front flipper was missing, and her remaining three flippers had deep lacerations. The top portion of her neck also sustained some injury, but luckily for this big mama, she got away with minimal injuries. Her blood was drawn for bloodwork, and her wounds were flushed and cleaned. She received an ultrasound to determine if she was nesting this year, and she had lots of developing egg follicles, confirming she was a nesting female. She was mildly dehydrated based on bloodwork, but all other results were good. Banzai received a pain management drug to keep her comfortable overnight and was given fluids, vitamins and was started on antibiotics. Medi-honey, a medical grade honey, was applied to the wounds and she was left resting comfortably on a foam waterbed overnight.
June 9: Banzai has adjusted well to her new home! Over the past week she has begun eating and is receiving injectable antibiotics and cold laser therapy to help speed up the healing process of her wounds. We are slowly increasing the amount of water in her tank, and her diet as well. Her wounds are covered in fibrin, the turtle version of a scab, and are on the mend.
July 1: 2019: Banzai is now in a full tank of water and is getting about 2.5 pounds of fish a day right. We are still giving her antibiotic injections and cold laser therapy, but she is getting feistier each time we pull her — a good sign she’s feeling better. We are still doing ultrasounds every couple of weeks to check on the status of her developing egg follicles. Other than that, Banzai still has a ways to go before her wounds are fully healed.