General update

August 9, 2006

Fiona is fat and happy – her wound is healing very nicely. Did we mention that she is fat? F.A.T. 🙂 The scar tissue is filling in and starting to get hard and thick in places. However, some areas are still quite soft and because those areas are immediately above her lung we have to wait until they are sufficiently thick to protect her before she is released. The tissue is starting to develop some pigment which corresponds to the patterns on her scutes – changing from pink to dark grey.

Joy is, well, fat and happy. Just a matter of time for her as well. Sometime in the next few weeks we would like to try some more whole lobster on her to gauge how her jaw strength is improving. It is lobster season here in south Florida so if any of you divers have a couple of lobsters to spare Joy would appreciate it.

Belize and Jonah continue to grow. We are still waiting for Belize to be able to dive consistently before we can comfortably release him.

Miracle is still hanging in there. Getting some supervised pool time. We are hoping that the soft tissue damage will resolve without leaving permanent neurological damage – more “wait and see”.

Hugo will go very soon – maybe next week.  Sparrow continues to recover well – that is one mad turtle that wants out of here now. Sparrow will likely get released about 2 minutes after the stitches come out!

Tomorrow we have a new patient coming from the St. Lucie power plant. Anemic, emaciated sub-adult loggerhead – or “the usual”. This is certainly the most common type of turtle we get at the center. The greens – especially the big ones – have been a refreshing change.


Happy dance

August 4, 2006

If you had been in the yard early today you would have seen a happy dance. And the reason for celebration:


Yeah baby! Experienced turtle folks will know exactly what that is. It’s what we have been waiting for from our friend Lola. It’s, uh, ‘recycled’ crab bits and sand dollars. This means that her digestive tract is working as it should. The good news for this very hungry turtle is that we can begin to increase the amount of food she is getting. She has been complaining bitterly that the portions have been small for a girl her size – but we had to wait until we knew that things were moving before we could up her rations. So she may be pleasantly surprised today at lunch with some extra squid on her plate.

In other news, everyone else is doing well. Sparrow ate yesterday which was a surprise given the surgery the day before. Sparrow is mad and pacing and will be out of here as soon as the incision is healed. Miracle is still hanging in there. We are hoping that the injury is mostly soft tissue swelling and bruising that will improve over time.

Busy Wednesday

August 3, 2006

Yesterday was busy here in turtle world. Sparrow’s hook was removed at Harmony Animal Hospital by Dr. Mettee on her day off – talk about a “busman’s holiday“! Surgery was successful and was filmed by Channel 5 for the evening news. Nothing like working under the glare of a TV camera . . . They did a nice job with the piece and even gave us a plug for the veterinary facilities in the new center.

While waiting for Sparrow to wake up we thought she looked pretty silly with the bite block in her mouth.


Yup, that’s a dog bone and it works great!

In the midst of surgery we got a call that another turtle had come in. This was a little green with a propeller strike to the head. Ouch. There is also damage to the carapace but that is of much less concern. We got an emergency MRI last night with the great people at Jupiter OMI to see how bad the damage is. The damage was not so severe as to warrant an immediate euthanasia (our main concern is not wanting the turtle to suffer if there is no chance of recovery). So we are taking it day-by-day with this turtle. So far it is holding it’s own. By the way, it was named Miracle by our friends at OMI.

There was another turtle here briefly last weekend.  It was a small green with fibropapillomatosis.  Since we do not treat “pap” turtles here it was slated to go to another facility but sadly it did not survive the night.

New arrival

August 1, 2006

Today we got a new loggerhead from the power plant. This is Sparrow (Pirates anyone?) and as you can see Sparrow has a problem.


The problem is in the form of a rather large hook in the esophagus. What you see is the steel wire leader (with some of the sharp ends wrapped in duct tape to protect the turtle). The hook looks quite similar to the hook we removed from Miriam (click her name to see Miriam’s x-ray and hook) several month ago. That one proved to be a recreational shark hook and we’re guessing this is the same type. A potential surgery is scheduled for tomorrow to remove it. The turtle is otherwise healthy and fat and not really happy with us at the moment – which is how a loggerhead should be.

Elphie was released on Hutchinson Island in a private goodbye by Dr. Mettee. That sure was a cute little green and we are happy to have saved that flipper. Special thanks goes out to all the volunteers that did “turtle treadmill” therapy to help her get better.