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 check out patients currently rehabilitating and awaiting release.
Don't forget to take a look at our non-releaseable turtles on our Current Residents page!
Clover was found floating at the mouth of the Arroyo Colorado. A good Samaritan with a boat pulled her out and called Sea Turtle, Inc. staff. Clover appears to have been struck by a boat and has a severe fracture in her carapace (top shell). Our Veterinarian placed zip tie ports with putty onto the shell. Ties are replaced every few days to tighten and encourage the bones to heal back together. These types of injuries are very severe since the shell is made up of the ribs and backbone of the turtle. We will have to evaluate Clover for possible nerve damage from the impact and the road to recovery is a long one. She will most likely be in here for the rest of 2013. Her release status has not yet been determined.
Becky is a post hatchling hawksbill sea turtle. She was found stranded just north of County Access 6 on South Padre Island. She was very skinny and had small, superficial wounds on her lateral (side) scutes. The turtle also had several small barnacles and tiny chunks missing from her back flippers. Becky shares a tank with 4 other post-hatchling hawksbill sea turtles. She is recovering well from her injuries and she will be released when she grows to a bigger size!
Avae was found by an island visitor right in front of the Tiki Hotel. She had no wounds or abnormalities but her shell was covered in algae. The turtle had washed up in a patch of sargassum and was so small that she narrowly missed getting stepped on by beach-goers! Avae is currently residing in an ICU tank with 4 other post-hatchling hawksbills. She will be released later in 2013.
Jeter, a juvenile Kemp's ridley, was found right off the channel at Isla Blanca Park. He was covered in algae and has an old injury on the left side of his carapace (top shell). Although Kemp's ridleys nest on South Padre Island beaches, its is not typical to see juvenile Kemp's ridley in our waters. We have had three strand in the last 10 days for unknown reasons. He is currently in our ICU and improving rapidly. He will most likley be released in the summer of 2013.
Jasper is a juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle. He was found near the north pavilion of Isla Blanca Park. He had a small cut on his neck and was covered in barnacles and algae. Although Kemp's ridleys nest on South Padre Island beaches, its is not typical to see juvenile Kemp's ridley in our waters. We have had three strand in the last 10 days for unknown reasons. Jasper is in ICU on antibiotics, fluids, and vitamins. He is starting to show interest in food and will eventually return to the wild.
Pud was found stranded on the beach just north of the end of HW 100. He was covered by about a 1/4 inch of algae and sand, completely emaciated. He has some old shell injuries but his reason for stranding is most likely internal infection. He is a juvenile Kemp's ridley. Kemp's ridleys do nest on South Padre Island, but it is not common for us to see this size class near South Padre Island, as they typically hang out in coastal areas on the east coast. He is currently in ICU where he is just starting to show interest in food. He will be released when he can eat on his own.
Josie was found on Boca Chica Beach by the same volunteers who found Wolf! She has a severe impact wound on her head and carapace (top shell). Her eyeball was popping out of the socket, her skull and shell were severely fractured. She was too weak to undergo any type of surgery, so we had to bandage up her wounds and wait. Luckily, after the swelling in her head went down, the eyeball re-positioned itself on its own and it does not look like it has any permanent damage!! She remains in ICU where her bandages are changed every 2-3 days. Although her wounds are healing, it will be a long road for Josie. The fractures are slow healing and she has to be force fed because she cannot swim in deep water. We are hoping for her quick recovery!
Wolf was found by a couple of our volunteers on Boca Chica Beach. The turtle was extremely emaciated and had a deep, dime-sized wound on his upper right flipper and additional scrapes all over his shell. He has been in ICU since his arrival. After intense fluid and vitamin therapy and a round of antibiotics, his wounds had not improved. A second round of antibiotics showed little improvement as well. He may have a fungal infection that is slowing his recovery. Blood tests will give us additional information on his health and he may be started on anti-fungals in the close future. His release status is undetermined.
Lady Bug was found on Boca Chica beach at the mouth of the Rio Grande by Border Patrol Agents. Her injuries were similar to those of Tobianne's. She had a fractured skull and her upper jaw was broken due to an impact, most likely caused by a boat. Unfortunately, the trauma of the impact caused her eye to come out of the socket and it was not able to be saved. Lady Bug underwent surgery to remove the remnants of the eyeball and some bone fragment as well. She remains in critical condition in our ICU.
Tobianne was found floating in the bay by Scarlett Coley and guest on her dolphin watch boat. She had a large gash on her head and shell that was likely caused by a boat impact. Her skull was severely fractured and she was unable to open her left eye. Several x-rays were done to explore the extent of the damage. Luckily her eyes and brain cavity were not hit! While the fracture is severe, she has had her head bandaged for several weeks and the wounds seem to be improving. The left eye is open and we believe she has sight in both eyes! Tobianne is currently in one of our large ICU tanks and has her bandages changed about every 3 days. She has not eaten on her own yet and has been tube fed several times since she arrived. Her release status is unknown.