Green Sea Turtle #18-3277

Green Sea Turtle #18-3277
Aug 18 2018Sep 06 2018

The first few years of a green sea turtle’s life are spent floating at sea, where they feed on plankton. As they grow older, the turtles move to shallow waters along the coast, such as bays and lagoons, where they find sea grass to eat.

This juvenile green sea turtle (#18-3277) was rescued from the Sanibel Causeway by a tourist who saw it struggling in the water. It was transported to the #CROWClinic by SCCF staff where it is now receiving treatment for red tide poisoning. 

Status Updates

Intake Exam - Aug 18 2018 2:30 pm

Veterinarians performed an initial intake exam upon the turtle's arrival. During this exam, they do things like take shell measurements, check for any tags, check its heart and breathing rate, check inside its mouth, check its eyes and take radiographs. Blood samples were taken to help determine a treatment plan and to send out for testing of toxin levels. They did not find any obvious signs of trauma and based on clinical signs believe the turtle is sickened by red tide.

Initial Treatments - Aug 18 2018 3:30 pm

The turtle was given IV fluid therapy, antibiotics and a novel treatment for red tide poisoning. The fluid therapy helps support its liver and kidneys which work to process and excrete the toxins. Antibiotics help to treat and prevent any possible infections that may develop from aspirating seawater or from decreased motility in the GI tract.

Moved to Shallow Tank - Aug 19 2018 3:00 pm

After spending the night dry-docked, the turtle was moved into a shallow tank. The water is kept shallow so that the turtle is able to lift its head up to breathe. It is monitored when it first goes in the tank that it is strong enough to lift its head out of the water.

Tank Depth Increased - Aug 20 2018 2:29 pm

Rehabilitation staff report that the turtle is doing great in the tank. They have increased the depth of the water and the turtle is able to swim up to breathe. It's condition has stabilized, but the prognosis still remains guarded.

Active in Tank - Aug 23 2018 1:30 pm

Rehabilitation staff noted that the turtle does not have any gurgling sounds when coming up for air and is swimming and submerging well in the deeper tank. The turtle has been biting at some of the food being offered but has not actually been consuming anything. A weight was taken today at 19.7 kg which is slightly down from the intake weight, but expected due to having not eaten in a few days.

Nibbling - Aug 31 2018 2:10 pm

The turtle was noted by rehabilitation staff to be nibbling on squid heads. The turtle would even bite down on them, but would not swallow. They are hopeful the turtle will begin eating in the next couple days.

Eating Squid - Sep 02 2018 11:32 am

Rehabilitation staff reported that the turtle has started eating! Yesterday afternoon, it ate one squid and ate three today. They also noted that it does not like to eat fish and will spit out any pieces of fish that are stuffed inside the squid by the rehabbers.

Cleared for Release - Sep 05 2018 12:19 pm

The green sea turtle has been cleared for release and provided with flipper tags and a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag. As red tide in our local waters is still a concern, the turtle will be transported south to the Ten Thousand Islands area to be released. CROW is working with state officials to coordinate the release.

Released! - Sep 06 2018 10:23 am

The green sea turtle was successfully released in Gullivan Bay which is located south of Marco Island, Florida and away from the red tide blooms. Thank you to the staff at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for their help in releasing this turtle and others! Visit their website to check out videos of the turtles they've helped us release this year!