Our NEW turtle!

After an extremely exciting week of tagging and releasing turtles. Our first rehabilitation sea turtle candidate of 2010 has arrived. Some of our followers may remember last year's first arrival: Acadia. But, weighing in at a whopping 1.2 kg (2.64 lbs) this turtle is a little easier to handle.

The turtle was reported to us by a beachgoer on Martha's Vineyard that stated it also had damage to it's shell. Our first thoughts were "Hope it isn't one of our released turtles..."

Once we received the cell phone photo (above). We knew it was a sea turtle. Look at that shell and that dark color. Definitely a Kemp's ridley! Definitely not one of our released turtles!
We confirmed that there was indeed a crack on its first vertebral scute as seen in the photo below. It could have been from a boat. Given the tiny size of the turtle it definitely would not be easily noticed in the water.

A team headed down to the ferry terminal at Woods Hole and performed diagnostics on the turtle as we headed back to the Aquarium. The blood values looked good overall. Besides the obvious shell fracture the animal was a little thin and did not open its eyes.

Connie and Ulrika start the debriding care of the newest patient.

We got the new patient back to the Aquarium fairly late and started debriding and cleaning the fractured area (as seen above). After cleaning and applying an antibacterial cream to the area the turtle was tucked away for the night.

As of this morning the turtle is still a bit lethargic. But still has a strong heartbeat. I put it in a kiddie pool for a quick swim and it took a while to get going, but then started using both front flippers and swam all around. The turtle was buoyant and did not use its rear flippers during the ten minute swim but I am confident this little guy (or gal) should do well.



  1. Glad to read he/she was rescued and hope he/she mends quickly.

  2. Hi Adam,

    How is this turtle doing? My sons found him on the beach in from of the Vineyard Harbor Inn in Vineyard Haven during a storm and snapped the cell phone picture. We never heard of "cold-stunning" until we read this blog.

    Hope the sea creatures fair well with the impending storm. Thanks for all your good work!

    Arlington, MA