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Loggerhead sea turtle ThunderHold

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.

Name: ThunderHold

Species: Loggerhead

Date admitted: November 28, 2021

Stranding location: St. Lucie Powerplant

Status: Released

Admission notes: This sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle was found in the St. Lucie Powerplant intake on November 28. Other than being a little thin, this sea turtle is in good health and their bloodwork is great. This little loggerhead started eating quickly after intake. ThunderHold showed signs of stress the first couple of days but then started to relax. Since intake, they have become picky about their food items, so staff is going to change up their diet and hopefully get them back to eating regularly. This patient was named after the phrase, “thunder hold,” which is used frequently by Zoo staff during the stormy summer months we experience in Brevard County. This call is used to communicate impending storms when thunder has been heard for park safety.



February 11, 2022: ThunderHold was released yesterday afternoon in Cocoa Beach along with patient Cinnamon! Safe travels, ThunderHold!

February 7, 2022: ThunderHold’s latest bloodwork revealed some elevated enzymes and they were placed on a medication to help with acid production in their GI. This sea turtle has started to eat more regularly on their own!

January 17, 2022: We have still not figured out a rhyme or reason for ThunderHold’s eating habits. It has boiled down to feeding them certain items in a certain order, like entering in a cheat code to a video game: shrimp, shrimp, fish, clam, wait 10 minutes, clam, squid, squid. They also seem to like eating in the morning, but not in the afternoon. They came out last week for their monthly bloodwork and an examination. Everything looked great, so we are suspicious that we really just have a picky sea turtle on our hands. Luckily, they are still gaining weight, as we feared they were losing it due to their unreliable appetite.

December 30, 2021: ThunderHold continues to be a picky eater, often needing ten minute “breaks” in between each food item and then it’s a guessing game if they will take the next piece offered to them. We have tried rinsing their food items so they don’t taste like each other. We have also tried hiding shrimp inside squid (their favorite), but then this patient distrusted squid for the next two feedings and wouldn’t eat it! This sea turtle may be stubborn, but so is our commitment to helping them.


Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646.

Want to help the Sea Turtle Healing Center? Support our Zoo, or view our Healing Center’s wishlist.