Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
Stranding Location: Cape Island, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, McClellanville, SC
Arrival Date: 5/25/2019
Weight: 132 kg (290 pounds)
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteers were finishing up their day doing nesting surveys when they spotted a sea turtle struggling nearby. Upon inspection they found it was a large loggerhead entangled in the rope of a crab pot, with the buoy and pot still attached. The rope was wrapped around her front flippers and neck. They worked on getting this robust turtle into their boat to get her checked out. The wounds from the rope didn’t look great so she was transported back to the boat landing, moved into a van and transported to the South Carolina Aquarium for treatment.
When Sarabi arrived, she was alert and fairly calm considering the circumstances. Dr. Shane Boylan cut the rope and a team of eight people moved her onto a large cart with a scale to get a weight and transport her to the medical facility. This big momma weighed a whopping 290 pounds! Once upstairs we flushed her wounds, gave antibiotics, vitamins, checked her vitals, and applied topical treatments to the stricture wounds. We were able to use laser therapy, a method of treatment to help with wound healing, swelling, and pain. Since Sarabi was found in and near a vital nesting habitat in South Carolina, we used an ultrasound to check for eggs. She had a few shelled eggs and lots of egg follicles, confirming Sarabi is in fact a female and was likely in the area to nest. Sarabi was placed in a tank to rest overnight. She became very active as soon as we put her in the water, which is a great sign!
Stay tuned for updates on Sarabi!