Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Georgetown, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 10/19/2017
Weight: 6.28 kg (13.8 pounds)
This endangered Kemp’s ridley was found floating and lethargic in Mud Bay in Georgetown, SC. Becky was rescued by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in-water researchers who noticed this turtle was making little to no effort to swim away. Marine Fisheries Biologist Michelle Taliercio brought this turtle via boat to the South Island Ferry Landing. It was there that Becky was met by Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) volunteer and DNR volunteer transporter Barb Gobien. With turtle in tow, Barb made the 3-hour round trip to safely bring Becky to the STCC.
Upon arrival Becky was given a thorough physical examination and diagnostic tests were administered. Radiographs revealed moderate pneumonia and a GI tract full of crab pieces. Becky was otherwise in good physical condition with no external injuries. Although the cause of lethargy and pneumonia is still unknown it is probable that Becky had a fisheries interaction such as being caught in a net. Due to her inactivity, she was wet docked on a waterbed of saltwater and foam overnight. She will receive an antibiotic injection every three days, and repeat radiographs and blood rechecks have been scheduled for the upcoming weeks.
October 23, 2017: Becky is currently being housed down in the basement hospital. Due to her lethargy she is in a tank with low water level. STCC staff are offering various types of fish on tongs in hopes of sparking her appetite. We will be closely monitoring her for the next several weeks, and we will adjust her tank level once she becomes stronger.
November 1, 2017: Becky is responding to treatment extremely well! We are slowly increasing her diet, and she is very active in her full tank! We are so pleased to see Becky improving so quickly!
November 15, 2017: Becky is well on the road to recovery! She received a blood draw, a physical exam and radiographs this week. Becky still has pneumonia present in her lungs so we are extending her course of antibiotics to help treat it.
December 1, 2017: Becky is finishing up her second round of antibiotics to clear out the pneumonia. She eats everything we offer her and can be found resting under her backscratcher enrichment in her tank. She was recently moved into a tank in Sea Turtle Recovery on the first floor of the aquarium. Come check out Becky on your next visit!
December 15, 2017: Becky is almost done with her antibiotics to clear the pneumonia. Once she finishes them we will monitor the health of her lungs through x-rays. We are very happy with her progress and we hope to release her in the coming months!
January 15, 2018: Becky was pulled for a monthly weight and measurement. She’s gained about a pound and has grown since her last weight. Becky will receive another set of radiographs to make sure her lungs are free and clear of pneumonia before she will be considered for a release candidate. Way to go, Becky!
February 1, 2018: In recent weeks, Becky has become somewhat of a picky eater so we’ve had to get creative in how we feed her. In the next few weeks, she will receive another set of radiographs to make sure her lungs are clear of pneumonia.
February 15, 2018: Becky continues to be a picky eater but is doing well! Come check out Becky, who is our only Kemp’s Ridley in Sea Turtle Recovery!
March 1, 2018: Becky received a CT scan this week to check on the status of her lungs. Though she has an unusual lung pattern, the infection in her lungs has not progressed. Overall, she’s looking great!
March 15, 2018: Becky received a pre-release exam, blood work and was tagged by SCDNR this week! Becky looks great and was moved into our exercise tank to help her get ready for release! Though it’s a little harder to see Becky in Recovery, you can now see her zooming around in her new digs! Way to go, Becky!
April 1, 2018: Becky has officially been medically cleared for release, and she was moved into the exercise tank two weeks ago to help get her ready for release! We are still learning about our exercise tank, and Becky is helping us answer some questions we have about it.
April 3, 2018
Washington Oaks State Park