Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: Wellfleet, MA
Arrival Date: 12/11/2018
Weight: 9.7kgs (21 lbs)
This adorable little loggerhead was originally found on the beach in Wellfleet Massachusetts on November 28, 2018. Snape then was transported to the New England Aquarium to be triaged. Snape’s body temperature was slowly increased and he received fluids, was started on antibiotics and stabilized. After a few weeks, Snape was flown down with 4 other juvenile Loggerhead sea turtles thanks to pilots Chuck Yanke and Mike Lalley from the organization Turtles Fly Too. Turtles Fly Too is a network of private pilots who help transport cold stunned sea turtles to facilities all along the East Coast. Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) staff met Chuck, Mike, and the turtles at the Mt. Pleasant Regional Airport to finish their transport to the STCC.
Upon admit, Snape’s body temperature maintained a good temperature of 70°F. Vet staff did a physical exam, administered fluids and continued the course of antibiotics. Snape’s right eye had a corneal abrasion so he was continued on eye meds to help it heal up. Snape was then placed in a tank down in the Sea Turtle Hospital with tank mate Albus Dumbledore, a fellow New England cold stun.
December 15, 2018: Snape was already eating up at New England Aquarium, so it was no surprise to staff when he started to eat immediately. Snape is still receiving antibiotic injections and will receive eye meds for the next week before having another eye exam aquarium vet Dr. Bryan Vorbach.
January 1, 2019: Snape finished his eye medications and his eyes look great! He still has a couple more antibiotic injections to get through but other than that he’s doing great! He’s set to have a CT next month to get a good look at his lungs to make sure nothing is developing. Snape is the best eater out of the group! He tries to steal his tank neighbor’s, Dumbledore, food all the time. He’s a hungry boy!
January 15, 2019: Snape is finished up with his antibiotics and looks great! We are still slowly increasing his diet, and he will receive a CT scan next week to check out his lungs.
February, 1 2019: Snape received a CT and it looked great! His lungs didn’t appear to show any signs of pneumonia and everything else looked very good. We will continue to monitor his breaths, as a raspy breath is a good indication of pneumonia. He continues to devour his entire diet and poops up a storm. He’s even gaining a little weight; he’s now a hefty 24 pounds!
February 15, 2019: Snape is cruising! He gobbles up his diet every day and continues to be a little cutie. He’s slowly gaining weight and even growing a little too.
March 1, 2019: Snape was pulled for his monthly check up and looks great! He’s such a beautiful and healthy little loggerhead! He continues to gobble up his diet and steal the hearts of everyone that works with him.
March 15, 2019: Snape was tagged for release on March 13! This doesn’t mean Snape is leaving us quite yet, but he has reached his first major milestone for returning home. On tagging day, we give most of our patients 2 different tags. One tag goes on the back of the front flippers and is a great visual cue. This tag is useful if the animal is found again, whether as an adult female nesting or as part of a research study, because it can be used to quickly see the animal has been helped or seen before. The second tag is called a PIT tag. The PIT tag is a microchip tag, just like the one a cat or dog receives. Again we can’t use this to track a patient, but we can scan the turtles to find their microchip number and ID them from there. We also take blood during tagging to evaluate and send it off. It typically takes around 2 weeks to get the results back, and then our vet team will evaluate the findings before clearing them for release.