Another long day fighting crime in the battle to save cold-stunned sea turtles here in Florida. Today we have good news and sad news. I'll start with the good news. The little green sea turtle that came in the other day with the hook in his mouth was released back to the big blue! The hook was lodged in a tricky manner however the hook removal went well and had minimal impact on the animal.
Unfortunately we lost #63. This was the turtle with the severe traumatic injury. The wound was a very serious full thickness penetrating wound. Dr. Mette felt that the wound originated at the circular fracture on the lower shell and penetrated upward fracturing the carapace, or top shell. The prognoses for this animal was poor but we all wanted this little turtle to beat the odds. Dr. Mette did everything she could, monitoring its health and providing emergency care late into the night. In the end the injuries combined with the hypothermia was too much.
Another case I worked on today is #59. Number 59 is an adult female green sea turtle weighing over 200 kilograms. This animal has an elevated white blood cell count indicating a serious infection. Number 59 is too large to remove from her tank daily for treatments so we drained her pool in the morning and administered her antibiotics. She had been eating some so we decided to administer her antifungal medication in her fish. As my luck (or lack there of) would have it she didn't eat. I had to drain the pool again and jump in there this evening to give her the antifungle meds.
In the left most photo, Cody and Anthony watch the levels of the replacements fluids. In the center and right photos, I was able to get close up photos of this beautiful creature while I was in the pool administering her evening medications. As you can see she has corneal tumors.
This evening we had two new turtles arrive. Both were heavily burdened with paps. I was still working in my area but snapped a few photos of Rick, Cody and Dr. Mette as they completed the intake exam, took blood samples and gave fluids and medications. Both animals were bright, alert and responsive and were allowed to go into pools after their treatments. Both were swimming well when we finally left for the night.
The case load here continues to grow, however at a much slower rate now. The days are long and exhausting but the work is important. Adam and I only have two more days here and while it will be nice to go home, it will be difficult to leave these animals and the incredible staff on the Gumbo Limbo sea turtle team.