Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)
Stranding Location: Oak Island Creek near Folly Beach
Arrival Date: May 6, 2016
Weight: 441 lbs.
A citizen discovered this massive juvenile leatherback stranded during the King Tide in the salt marsh behind Mariners Cay Condos, several hundred feet from the Oak Island Creek. Not only was the animal stuck but it was lethargic and weak as well. Concerned, the citizen called The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) who, with the help of several team members, rescued the large animal and transported it to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital.
We rescued our very first leatherback turtle, Yawkey, in March 2015. So this wasn’t our first rodeo! Much like Yawkey, it took an army of about 10 people to lift the hefty animal (named Mariner) out of the truck and onto the waiting platform where Mariner was then lifted into a large tank. Staff immediately began administering fluids, including Vitamins B and C. Blood work was taken to see if staff could figure out what ailed this tremendous turtle!
The next day, Mariner was already responding well to treatment and newly energized. In fact, he was actually getting a bit a frisky! This spirited leatherback was ready to be returned to the wild. Team members loaded the 5-foot turtle into a truck and transported him to the Folly Beach County Park, where Mariner returned home.
May 7, 2016