Current Patients

Rehabilitation of sick and injured sea turtles is an important part of Sea Turtle, Inc's mission to save sea turtles! Each year, we rehabilitate anywhere from 40-100+ patients and release them back to the ocean. The rehabilitation process can take days, months, or sometimes years, depending on our patient and its injury. Below, you can see a list of our current patients that are being rehabilitated and awaiting release.

As of May, our hospital has received and treated 26 sick/injured sea turtles since the beginning of 2017!

Support our patients' care through a patient adoption!

Take a look at the list of patients we have released

Don't forget to check out our non-releaseable turtles on our Residents page


Stranded 06-05-2017

20170605BWL01-CM Pic4

20170605BWL01-CM Pic1Finnegan is a juvenile Atlantic green sea turtle that was found on the beach by the Finnegan family just north of county access 6 here on South Padre Island. This little turtle had rope tightly wrapped around its left front flipper. The flipper is very swollen and there is a possibility that it might have to be amputated in the future. In the meantime, we will use cold laser therapy on that flipper to try and promote circulation and decrease pain/inflammation. Other than the entanglement, Finnegan has a good body condition, normal blood values, and weighs about 4 lbs.

Potential release date: summer/fall 2017


Stranded 05-26-2017

Rockie  5.27.17

Rockie is a juvenile Atlantic green sea turtle that was found stuck in the rocks at the Isla Blanca jetties, on the south end of South Padre Island. Rockie is one of our smallest patients, weighing in at a hefty 3.8 lbs! Rockie is slightly emaciated (thin) and had several barnacles and algae on the carapace (top of the shell) upon arrival at our facility, suggesting this turtle might have been a little lethargic and not swimming very fast. Rockie has a large notch missing in the right front flipper and a small notch missing from the left front flipper - both of these wounds are fully healed, but something took a few bites out of this turtle when it was younger!

Rockie 4 5.27.17Potential release date: summer 2017


pepperoniStranded 04-14-2017

Pepperoni is a 41 lb juvenile Atlantic green with fibropapilloma (FP) tumors on the eyes and the body. The cause of the fibropapilloma virus is still unknown, but researchers believe it may be linked to pollution. The FP virus causes tumors to grow on sea turtles. These tumors are benign, but they can be indirectly fatal by growing on the eyes which renders the turtles blind. FP tumors can also make it easier for turtles to get entangled and slows them down when they are trying to get away from predators.  Pepperoni was caught on hook and line in the Laguna Madre Bay. Fortunately, there was no sign of hook trauma. Pepperoni is in great body condition and is starting to show interest in food. Pepperoni underwent the first of multiple surgeries to have the FP tumors removed on 5/18/17. Pepperoni is recovering well from the surgery and will be ready for a second round of surgery soon.
Potential release date: unknown

Beach Betty

Stranded 03-16-2017


beach betty at intakeBeach Betty is a 60 lb adult Kemp's ridley that was found upside down up the beach at mile marker 19. There is substantial evidence of predator attacks. The left front flipper is almost completely missing (only a nub remains), and there are numerous lacerations all over her body. The most severe damage is near the hind flippers and on the right side of her neck. Betty has had multiple surgical debridements, both at the Gladys Porter Zoo and here at our hospital. Surgical debridement is a procedure that involves removing necrotic material (dead tissue) from wounds which in turn promotes healing and healthy tissue growth. She has not shown any interest in food since arriving at our facility, which is relatively common when adult sea turtles are in captivity. We have been tube feeding her as needed and hope she will start eating on her own soon.
Fun fact: since Beach Betty is an adult, we know that she is a female because her tail does not extend beyond her shell!
Potential release date: unknown



Stranded 01-08-2017



Stunna (yep, a cold stun turtle from our cold stranding event in January 2017) was kept as a rehab patient for FP tumor removal. Like all the other cold stun turtles, Stunna is an Atlantic green. Stunna has had all of the body tumors removed, but is now being treated for a bone infection in the right front flipper. This turtle also has FP tumors in the right eye and is awaiting surgery.
Potential release date: unknown


Stranded 01-08-17



Stix was one of our 191 cold stunned sea turtles that stranded in January 2017. Stix is a 14 lb juvenile Atlantic green with the FP virus. Stix's right front flipper was entangled in fishing line, and Stix also had fishing line coming out of the mouth and cloaca upon arrival to our hospital. Unfortunately Stix's right front flipper had to be amputated, even after receiving months of laser therapy and massages in an attempt to keep the flipper vital. This cutie has had all body tumors removed but is awaiting removal of a FP tumor in the right eye. Stix has a great appetite and is sharing a tank with our other FP greens.
Potential release date: unknown


Stranded: 12-19-2016


Milagro was found by Sea Turtle, Inc staff member Dave Wilson in the grass adjacent to our parking lot. He had been there for some time as his body temperature was very low. Milagro means miracle in Spanish because it is a miracle that this juvenile Atlantic green survived! The turtle also has an old boat strike that is visible at the back part of the shell.  Boat strikes often cause buoyancy issues in sea turtles, and unfortunately, that is the case with Milagro. When a boat strikes a turtle, it creates an air pocket inside the shell that cannot be removed. To make the turtle as comfortable as possible, we adhere lead dive weights to the shell in an attempt to 'even' the turtle out so it is not as buoyant.

January update: Milagro is eating well! Also, a weight was added to Milagro's carapace to help him dive.

February update: Milagro is gaining weight, but still has buoyancy issues. Milagro has been moved to a tank with a gang of smaller, non-FP, Atlantic greens.

March update: Still working with Milagro and his buoyancy issues. He continues to gain weight.

April update: Same as last month!

May update: A few STI staff members and volunteers have been working together to create a weighted vest for Milagro (in lieu of attaching dive weights to carapace). This is because the dive weights, which are adhered to the shell via marine epoxy and super glue, fall off after a few weeks time. The weighted vest will also make it much easier to add/remove weights as needed.


Stranded: 11-23-2016


Toco is a 16 pound juvenile Atlantic green that was found entangled in fishing line with the rod still attached. The fishing line was wrapped so tightly around the right front flipper, that the flipper could not be saved. While undergoing surgery at Gladys Porter Zoo, several Fibropapilloma tumors were also removed.

He has recovered well from the amputation surgery and is out of ICU and recovering in an outdoor rehabilitation tank.

December update:  Toco's sutures were removed on 12/10. The amputation site appears to be healing well. Toco is receiving cold laser therapy and has been eating well. He is swimming with PJ, Jet, and Key.

January update: Toco had surgery at the Gladys Porter Zoo today. Toco's body is tumor free! Continuing to receive cold laser therapy.

February update: Toco is still receiving cold laser therapy at the amputation site, and alas, very small tumors have become noticeable around the eyes. This turtle will be scheduled for surgery soon. On the plus side, it is now at 18.1 lbs.

February update:  Eye tumors are mostly gone! Thank you, Dr. Tom!

March update: Small tumor regrowth noted on 3/20. Will be scheduled for surgical removal soon.

April update: Toco had surgery to remove the regrowth tumor. He will be scheduled for tumor removal around the eyes soon.

May update: Toco has recuperated from his last surgery. Weighs in at 23 lbs now! Still awaiting tumor removal in the right eye.


Stranded: 11/14/2016


Cole is a 85 lb sub-adult Atlantic green that was found floating and unable to dive in the Port of Brownsville channel. Cole has an older boat strike injury on the back portion of his shell (visible in the photo to the left). Cole received a course of antibiotics upon arrival to our center and the boat strike wound was cleaned. A significant amount of necrotic material and dead bone was removed from the boat strike site. The process of cleaning wounds is called 'debridement' and it involves removing dead tissue and debris from wounds to promote wound healing.

December update: A lead dive weight was applied to the shell to assist in diving. He was subsequently moved to a deeper tank. We are hoping that Cole's appetite will improve now that the weight is making movement more comfortable.

January update: A lighter weight was applied to Cole's carapace, as the original one seemed a little heavy. Cole has been eating his entire diet for the past 2 weeks, but he is picky. Squid only menu! As of 1/17/17, Cole is still dragging his hind flippers/bottom along tank. We will be adjusting the weight to correct this.

February update: Cole's weight was removed on 2/11 and he was able to lay flat on the bottom without the weight for two days. As of today, his caudal end (posterior) is slowly becoming buoyant again. We will monitor and might have to reapply a small weight. He is eating well and swimming with Barracuda.

March update:  Under the guidance our veterinarian Dr. Tom deMaar, we will be placing Cole in Gerry’s tank (our deepest tank at about 8 feet) to test his buoyancy. If able to rest on bottom,  Cole will be deemed releasable. Tentative plan to place into Gerry’s tank on Monday 4/3/17.

April update: Cole has been swimming in Gerry's tank since early April. The two green sea turtles are getting along! Cole is diving, but still buoyant. We are hoping that the pressure of the deeper tank will help alleviate with the air trapped inside his body.

May update: Cole and Gerry are still getting along well. Cole still has a buoyancy problem. He is often seen resting with his head on the bottom of the tank, but the rest of his body is vertical. STI staff members and volunteers are working together to create a weighted vest for Cole to make him more comfortable. 


Stranded 9/11/2016


PJ ispj a juvenile Atlantic green found at the Isla Blanca jetties, entangled in fishing line which had attached itself to the huge Fibropapilloma tumor at the lower end of his plastron. PJ will be transported to the Gladys Porter Zoo for laser tumor removal surgery.

October update: PJ had all tumors removed on 10/5 with the exception of a large tumor on the left rear flipper. The tumor extended very deep into the tissue surrounding the flipper bones. It is possible that the flipper will need to be amputated.

P.J. is recovering well from the initial surgery.

November update:  P.J. had the large tumor at the base of the right rear flipper removed on 11/9 and it was NOT necessary to amputate! The 'root' of the tumor went deep and our vet Dr. Tom thinks that he got it all, but we will be monitoring PJ closely for tumor re-growth.  PJ is now tumor-free except for the eye tumors, which will be addressed at a later date. PJ is recovering in ICU.

December update: PJ is gaining weight and has had some tumors removed around eyes. He is swimming with buds Jet, Key, and Toco.

January update: PJ should be headed back to surgery soon. January 31: PJ had additional tumors removed on 1/31.

February update: PJ is finishing up a course of antibiotics due to the most recent surgery. He is gaining weight. He stranded at 19.8 lbs and had some large tumors removed. As of this date, he weighs 21.5 lbs.

March update: PJ is doing well, still gaining weight., but on 3/20, some tumor regrowth was noted. He will scheduled back in for surgery soon.

April update: PJ had mores surgery on 4/13. He still has some tumors on his eyes. In spite of in and out surgeries, he is eating well and has gained weight! Up to 24.1 lbs.

May update: PJ is now at 25.5 lbs and is awaiting further surgeries.