As you have seen from recent posts (here, here, here and here), we've been incredibly busy saving cold stunned sea turtles. Some of these animals are arriving with internal body temperatures in the 40s (F). Those that come in at these lower temperatures often require intensive therapy. Below are a few such cases we have been working with over the past several days.
|In the above photo, Dr. Julie Cavin uses a portable ultrasound machine on #16 to collect a heart rate.|
|These photos are of turtle #85 on a "surf board."|
Rescued turtle #85 is a critical Kemp's ridley who's poor condition upon arrival to the Aquarium necessitated emergency drug therapy. One of the emergency medications included a respiratory stimulant. The stimulant worked for a period of time however the animal was later placed on a ventilator for several hours. Number 85 spent two days in and out of the intensive care unit, coming out only for supervised swims in kiddie pools and treatments/medications. Today #85 improved enough for some supervised exercise in the sea turtle ward. In the above left photo, I gave #85 some swim time in the "big boy pool." He grew tired quickly, however I notice his breathing was better in the pool. I wanted to keep him in the pool but without using up his limited energy resources so I decided to make him a "surf board." It worked beautifully, he was breathing very well on the little foam pad and could watch the other turtles swimming around. #85 will be in guarded condition until we see marked improvements, I'm holding out hope.
Tomorrow brings new challenges for all the turtles, but none more than the most critical, such as the ones I've featured on this page. We continue to work tirelessly to save these incredible animals and greatly appreciate all the words of support and encouragement from so many of you.