Thirteen hours of turtle work today. First half of the day was spent treating turtles that were admitted yesterday and over the past two weeks. Second half of the day was spent treating fourteen new oiled turtles that were recovered by search teams today: 12 Kemp's ridleys; one loggerhead and a beautiful hawksbill turtle.
So, the center now has 26 turtles that were found oiled. The affected turtles represent four of the five sea turtle species that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. I have attached some photos of some of yesterday's turtles, which are doing pretty well, and swimming well today.
So far we are still getting mainly juvenile turtles, likely only one- to two-years-old based on their size. The highlight of the day was a large swarm of termites that invaded our work zone tonight. The turtle team kept working despite having termites crawling on our faces, down our shirts, in our hair, etc. They eventually flew away, and the work continued. There is an awesome team here at Audubon.
Search teams recovered eight more oiled turtles on May 31, 2010. The turtles arrived at the rehab center at about 7:30 p.m. last night. They were all juvenile turtles, weighing about 2 pounds on average: 7 Kemp's ridleys, and one very small green sea turtle. All turtles were treated with the standard treatments of bathing, cleaning oil out of the mouth and throat, electrolytes, toxiban and antibiotics. Several turtles had abnormalities including low blood sugar, low heart rate and high blood potassium. It's interesting that almost all of the oiled turtles so far are very small juveniles, even smaller than the juveniles we typically see
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