Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Shem Creek, Charleston, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 8/6/2021
Weight: 1.68 kg (3.69 lbs)
Amethyst was caught on hook-and-line in Shem Creek. The fisher brought the turtle on to the floating dock and called the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Permit holder, Barb Gobien, responded and transported the turtle to the Sea Turtle Care Center™ for hook removal and treatment. Barb called to let us know that there was visible fishing line, which makes hook removal much easier because it allows us to trace the line to the hook!
Once the turtle arrived, our team and vet staff got straight to work. On intake staff got a weight, x-ray, measurements, photographs, and pulled blood. The bloodwork showed that the patient was stable enough to attempt to remove the hook. That night, Dr. Michaels was able to remove the hook without surgery! After the removal, Amethyst was pretty quiet so she was intubated to help give her some oxygen and was given a breathing stimulating medication. Pretty soon after that she started taking breaths on her own and was extubated. Dr. Michaels took Amethyst home for a sleepover, in a padded bin, just as a precaution to monitor her breathing. When Amethyst arrived back at the Aquarium the next morning, she was put in a temporary holding bin while we prepared a tank for her. While she was in that holding bin, she proved to staff that she was strong enough to stay in water overnight.
August 15, 2021: Once we had an available tank, Amethyst was moved up to the first-floor hospital. Amethyst is such a tiny turtle, she makes her new home look like a mansion! She is swimming well and defecating. We will start offering her food this week!