The Sea Turtle Healing Center cares for sick or injured sea turtles found primarily along the nearby Florida coast. While this facility is not open to the public, the effects of its work impact local sea turtle populations. An in-county facility means a shorter drive for patients, resulting in less stress and quicker treatment for distressed turtles.
Date admitted: October 28, 2021
Stranding location: Cape Canaveral
Status: In treatment
Admission notes: This juvenile green sea turtle was found stranded in Cape Canaveral on October 28. Reptar came to us severely emaciated, dehydrated and covered in epibiota. Despite their rough shape, this sea turtle has a lot of spunk and even began eating during their first night at the Healing Center. They did have to be kept in a shallow pool for the first few days of their stay, but since then, have been able to handle swimming on their own. Reptar also stranded with a large amount of gas, causing them to be buoyant. As this sea turtle continues to eat more and more, they have been able to pass the gas and start swimming down to the bottom of the pool to grab food. Reptar also has an old healed carapace fracture, which left them with damage to the left scapula. They received a CT scan on November 11 at Rockledge Regional Medical Center to get a better look at the carapace damage.
March 24, 2022: Reptar is finally starting to swing in the right direction. Their bloodwork has improved immensely- it’s the best it’s ever looked- and they are starting to gain weight quickly. Reptar eats all of their food and is active in their pool.
February 23, 2022: We are continuing with adding potassium to Reptar’s diet, but their progress waxes and wanes. They are still picky about food. One week, they dislike fish and will eat clam, and the next they will dislike clam and eat fish. Sometimes, they’ll even throw us a curveball and start eating shrimp, which Reptar has been disgusted by since their intake!
February 7, 2022: Reptar has still been slowly gaining weight, but not as quickly as they should be for the amount of food they are being fed. We continue to increase their diet to help. During a cold spell, all our current patients were brought inside as a precaution and were dry-docked. After Reptar was returned to the water, they remained agitated and had been picky about their food. We rechecked their bloodwork and found some of their chemistries were off. We added potassium and fluids to their regime, and we are hopeful we can get this sea turtle back on track.
January 17, 2022: During treatments, we found three small FP tumors growing on Reptar’s inguinal area. They were removed that day, but Reptar had to be moved to the FP side of our Healing Center. Reptar has been taking their nebulization treatments very well and a CT scan confirmed it’s been working! The images revealed that their pneumonia had been cleared. They are still on oral medications to help with any GI ulcers or bleeding, and we are seeing their bloodwork trend in the right direction. Reptar is still very thin, but they are making great progress in gaining some weight!
December 30, 2021: Reptar’s new medication worked well and they finally had a negative blood culture. The medication was then stopped. Reptar’s PCV dropped which warranted a follow-up CT scan to look for internal bleeding. The scan uncovered a possible hematoma in the tissues between the lung and carapace and found that they had developed pneumonia. To combat the pneumonia, we started nebulizing medication to them daily. Reptar will get a little impatient during nebulizing, but otherwise has been a great patient. To also help combat the drop in red blood cells, we added medications to help their GI heal, in case they were bleeding from ulcers.
December 9, 2021: Reptar has been a great patient. Their first big goal in rehab has been to gain weight! This sea turtle is always excited to be working toward this goal, but we have been taking it slow because they have not been pooping consistently. We like to make sure their GI is working well before giving them large amounts of food, or else it could make them constipated. Luckily, Reptar has been very patient with the process and has since had a couple of diet increases. They are still a little buoyant, but they can eat off the bottom of the pool with a little effort. Reptar’s blood cultures have been coming back positive, so their medication regime has been changed to combat the infection.
Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646.