Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Arrival Date: 7/1/2021
Weight: 3.2 kg (7 lbs)
Garnet was caught by a fisher late in the evening on June 30, 2021. The fisher removed all of the fishing line before they were instructed by South Carolina Department of Natura Resources (SCDNR) responders not to. SCDNR transporter and permit holder in Hilton Head, Amber Kuehn, took the turtle in overnight until it could be safely transported to the Sea Turtle Care Center™ by SCDNR technician, Meredith Bean, the following morning.
Based on bloodwork results and her physical exam, Garnet was stable and in good body condition, so she was sedated for hook removal. After some trial and error, Dr. Lauren got the massive circle hook out of Garnet’s mouth. We gave Garnet the sedation reversals. Initially, she responded strongly to them and woke up very quickly. After about half an hour though, she became mostly unresponsive and stopped breathing on her own. We intubated her and began breathing for her regularly. Later in the afternoon, we put Garnet on a ventilator machine that would give her breaths automatically. Care Center and veterinary staff took shifts throughout the night of July 1 to continue monitoring Garnet’s condition. We regularly checked her heart rate and responsiveness, as well as kept an eye on the ventilator. After a long night of patient care, Garnet started breathing on her own and was able to be extubated and placed in a shallow water tank later on that morning.