Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)
Stranding Location: Cherry Grove Pier, North Myrtle Beach, SC
Arrival Date: 6/26/2020
Weight: 6.4 lbs (2.9 kg)
Pitt was hooked by a fisherman on Friday afternoon at Cherry Grove Pier. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) permit holder Chris Beem responded to the call to evaluate the turtle. The hook was deep in the throat and not easily removable on site. Permit holder, Chris Lee, transported Pitt down to the Sea Turtle Care Center that afternoon for evaluation.
Pitt arrived around 3pm and was very active. Staff took x-rays and evaluated the location of the hook and chances of removing the hook without surgery. The hook was deep in the esophagus and it was a 50/50 chance that it could be removed without any surgery. While vets Dr. Michaels and Dr. Boylan worked on a plan, Sea Turtle Care Center (STCC) staff took measurements, gave fluids and vitamin injections, administered antibiotics and ran bloodwork. Dr. Boylan sedated Pitt and worked for a while removing the hook from the throat using a variety of methods. Eventually the very large J hook came out without any surgery! Pitt spent the night in a water bed sleeping off the sedation.
July 1, 2020: The day following admit, Pitt was placed into a tank with water and was offered some food. To no surprise to staff, he didn’t eat and was pacing around his tank. This is common since the process of getting hooked by a fisherman, transported in a car, triaged by multiple people, and having a very large hook removed from your throat….is a bit stressful. Pitt should settle down in the next couple of days and begin eating normally.