Sea Turtles Return to the Deep Blue Sea on World Oceans Day After Treatment at the South Carolina Aquarium

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Loggerheads and Green Sea Turtle Treated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program

STH

Three sea turtles, including two loggerheads and one green, are once again swimming the open ocean after successful treatment by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Buck, McAdoo and Bohicket were released today, World Oceans Day, at the Isle of Palms County Park, S.C. This release marks 166 threatened and endangered sea turtles rehabilitated and released into the wild by the Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The release was held in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC).

About the sea turtles:
McAdoo: McAdoo, a 50-pound loggerhead sea turtle was found in Myrtle Beach in August of last year suffering from a boat strike and a shark bite. The boat strike wound extended through McAdoo’s right upper jaw, and his/her right front flipper was mauled by a shark. This lucky turtle survived both encounters and was transported to the Sea Turtle Hospital by SCDNR. Upon admission, McAdoo was also found to be anemic and emaciated. Staff administered fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, blood medication and pain medication, as well as provided wound treatment for the flipper and old boat strike. Intensive treatment continued for months, including cold laser therapy that helped accelerate the healing process. On Friday, McAdoo was given a clean bill of health and cleared for release.

Buck: Buck, a 105-pound loggerhead sea turtle, was found floating by the dock at Buck Hall Plantation in McClellanville in July of last year. Upon admission, Buck showed no signs of trauma, however was dehydrated and lethargic, and displayed neurological symptoms including odd swimming behavior, floating and lockjaw. Treatment for Buck included antibiotics, fluids, vitamins and manual exercise to Buck’s jaw to treat the lockjaw symptoms. Buck also underwent treatment for cataracts, which was generously donated by Charleston Veterinary Referral Center. After a few months of care Buck began to show improvement, eating on his/her own and exhibiting better equilibrium and buoyancy control. After close to a year of intensive care, Buck’s movements finally became completely normal and the turtle was cleared for release.

Bohicket: Bohicket, a juvenile green sea turtle, was found floating at the Bohicket Marina on Johns Island, S.C. in April of this year. Once at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital, x-rays confirmed a large amount of gas in the gastrointestinal tract due to a blockage. Bohicket received supportive care in the form of antibiotics, vitamins and fluids. After five days of treatment Bohicket passed the blockages in his/her GI tract, which contained pieces of plastic. After a month and a half of care, Bohicket was cleared for release.

Just in time:
In the past two-and-a-half days, the Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program has admitted four loggerhead sea turtles found stranded along the South Carolina coast. The timely medical clearance and release of these three sea turtles has freed up space for the new patients to be admitted and treated. The expansion of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program to the Aquarium’s first floor is vital now more than ever to create additional space and tanks for patients to be treated. To learn more about the expansion of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program or to make a donation, visit scaquarium.org/sth-expand.

What can you do?:
You can help protect threatened and endangered sea turtles. If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431. You also may help care for sea turtles in recovery in the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to scaquarium.org and making a donation.

To read about our patients or track their recovery progress, visit our Sea Turtle Rescue Program blog at scaquarium.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates from the hospital, including public sea turtle release details.

Fast Facts:

  • Three sea turtles returned to the ocean today, June 8, World Oceans Day, at the Isle of Palms County Park
  • The release comes just in time to make room for new patients in the Sea Turtle Hospital
  • To learn more about the Sea Turtle Rescue Program expansion, visit scaquarium.org/sth-expand
  • For more information on the Sea Turtle Rescue Program, visit scaquarium.org/strp
  • For photos and video from today’s release click here

For all media inquiries, please contact Kate Dittloff at (843) 579-8660 or kdittloff(at)scaquarium(dot)org

About the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program:
In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program works to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles that strand along the South Carolina coast. Located in the Aquarium, the Sea Turtle Hospital admits 20 to 30 sea turtles each year. Many of these animals are in critical condition and some are too sick to save.

According to SCDNR, during the past 10 years the average number of sea turtle standings on South Carolina beaches each year is 128. Of these, roughly 10 percent are alive and successfully transported to the Sea Turtle Hospital. To date, the South Carolina Aquarium has successfully rehabilitated and released 166 sea turtles and is currently treating 18 patients. The average cost for each patient’s treatment is $35 per day with the average length of stay reaching nine months.

About the South Carolina Aquarium:
The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s most visited attraction, features thousands of amazing aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in more than 60 exhibits representing the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Dedicated to promoting education and conservation, the Aquarium also presents fabulous views of Charleston harbor and interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.

The South Carolina Aquarium, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day, half day Dec. 24 (open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Dec. 25. Admission prices are: Toddlers (2 and under) free; Youth (3-12) $17.95; Adults (13+) $24.95. The Aquarium plus the 4-D Theater experience is free for Toddlers, $22.95 for Children, $29.95 for Adults. The 4-D Theater experience only is $6.95 for Children and Adults, and free for Members. For more information call 843-720-1990 or visit scaquarium.org. Memberships are available by calling 843-577-FISH.

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