Turtle with broken flipper

This juvenile Kemp's ridley turtle arrived at the New England Aquarium in October 2008. We named him Route. We don't know exactly what caused his injury. Several areas of his shell were broken, he had a large wound on his left shoulder and left front flipper, and a broken left humerus (the bone between the shoulder and the elbow). He had lost a lot of blood and was very anemic. He had orthopedic surgery to stabilize the humerus. In the picture you can see one of the metal bars that is keeping the bone in place until it heals. You can also see some wires that are holding the broken shell together. Unfortunately, the injury damaged the blood supply to the end of his flipper and some of it had to be amputated. Since we know that sea turtles in the wild can survive with only one front flipper, we are still hopeful that Route can be released in the summer of 2009. I will keep you informed of his condition.

- Dr. Innis

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