"Biscuits" a 200lb Loggerhead!

One of our more impressive turtles from this season is an ADULT female loggerhead! It is uncommon for us to see adult, hard-shelled sea turtles in Cape Cod bay. The last adult turtle that came into the rescue program was back in 1999. That loggerhead was slightly larger than our current patient.

As many of our blog followers are aware, each year we have a theme for what we will name our turtles. This year we chose cereals and cereal mascots. So, we have nicknamed this turtle Biscuits! Biscuits is actually a shortened version of her full "name," a cereal called Fruitful Whole Wheat Biscuits.

This turtle stranded on November 23rd of 2013. She actually arrived at our facility with one of our smallest turtles—a Kemp's ridley we call Alphie the Wonderdog.

Our 200-lb loggerhead (L) stranded on the same day as the small 4-lb Kemp's ridley (R) 

This large loggerhead sea turtle provides us with many logistical challenges on exam day. As you can imagine, she can't just be plucked out of the water like the rest of our rehabilitation patients that weigh in around 4-10 lbs.

First we have to send folks into the tank with her to get her out. There are a couple of ways of entering the tank. Very graceful...

or jumping right on in...

Once in with her we have to carefully coax her to the top of the water column. 


 and then lift her out.

Quick celebration for a job well done.

Once out of the water we weigh her...

measure her...

and do a general exam.

Upon arrival the loggerhead was covered in mud, algae, and barnacles. She also appeared to have some dermatitis in the shoulder area possibly from the extreme cold weather.


During the exam we make sure that she is progressing well. We check over her front and rear flippers.Look at her eyes, nose, and throat. Examine her carapace (top of the shell) and plastron (bottom of the shell). We remove barnacles. Treat any dermatitis found. Investigate the entire turtle for any abnormal lesions or wounds.
Pictures above: (L) exam on 12/17/13 you can see dermatitis in the left shoulder and flipper. (R) Exam on 1/7/14 shows marked improvement of the dermatitis.

Once the turtle has had her physical it's time to get her back in the water.


She tends to circle around the tank upon being placed back in. However, once she settles back down she returns to her favorite corner of the tank and gives us a big sigh of relief!

"Biscuits" is scheduled to head to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in the coming weeks to continue her rehabilitation. This will also afford her the opportunity to hopefully be released soon!


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