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Saturday, July 19, 2014

False Crawl #3

Cheryl and Bill called in a crawl early this morning.  Nice distinct crawl up to the base of the dunes, quick turn around and back down to the water.  No body pit.   False crawl #3

Turtle hit a mound of sand as she first came out of the water

No body pit, just a quick turn

Incoming almost same length as outgoing

Will she be back?

Thanks Bill and Cheryl.  

Briar goes HOME!!!

Sea turtle once facing blindness recovered, ready for return to ocean
Posted: Jul 11, 2014 4:05 PM EDT Updated: Jul 11, 2014 4:05 PM EDT
By Patrick Phillips - email CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A loggerhead sea turtle found stranded on Myrtle Beach in May,
2013, has fully recovered and will be released on Tuesday, according to Charleston County leaders.
The 182-pound adult female turtle, nicknamed Briar, received a clean bill of health this week after being under care for the last 13 months in the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program.
Briar had been found emaciated and severely anemic with poor vital signs and covered in barnacles, according to aquarium spokesperson Kate Dittloff.
When admitted to the aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital, veterinarians deemed her prognosis questionable, with some staffers saying the arrived at work each morning with their fingers crossed that Briar had made it through the night, Dittloff said.
Within six months, however, Briar had improved, gaining more than 50 pound and responding well to medication.
But another complication emerged: the staff noticed the turtle was having trouble finding its food and discovered she had developed cataracts that threatened blindness.
After a rare surgical procedure to remove the turtle's damaged lenses, staffers noticed an almost immediate improvement in Briar's sight.
The public is invited to say goodbye to Briar on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Isle of Palms County Park. The release will be held in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Charleston County parks and Recreation Commission.
Attendees should plan to carpool, arrive early and expect to pay for parking at the county park, Dittloff said.
Loggerhead sea turtles are considered an endangered species and was named the official state reptile of South Carolina.
Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Briar, May 20, 2013 when found on the beach

Briar Release, July 15, 2014

Arriving on the beach

NMB Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteer, Sam was asked  to hold sign

Brett who reported Briar when she was stranded on the beach, helps unload Briar from the truck

 Kelly makes sure all is well

First glimpse of Briar


YES,  I think home is ahead!!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NMB False Crawl #2

Crawl on segment B this morning.  Very windy on the beach, most of the crawl above the HTL is windblown and hard to see.  Outgoing crawl in the wet sand is very visible.  This turtle crawled up the wide beach, started to make a body pit, moved up a few feet, started a new body pit, moved up a few more feet, started a third body pit, then moved up to the base of the dune and turned to crawl back to the water.  Was she being watched and disturbed each time she moved?  Shallow body pit at the base of the dunes, probed and probed but no egg cavity was found.  False crawl #2.

Outgoing Crawl

Incoming crawl, turtle stopped three times before turning at the base of the dunes

Shallow body pit, wind blown, crawl is almost completely gone

Incoming crawl is almost completely covered up by the blowing wind

Outgoing tracks are hardly visible until the wet sand

Hoping but no eggs are found

Thank you Segment B walkers....Lets hope she comes back

Monday, July 7, 2014

8th Stranding

Middle of the night call from NMB Dispatch, 2AM......huge turtle on the beach.....Nesting?   Race down to 1st Ave s.  Disappointing sight, huge turtle is floating at the water line.   North Myrtle Beach Patrol officers are there waiting.......Beautiful big turtle,  weighing 200 pounds or more.   Lifeguard helps move it out of the water and further up the beach.....tide is rising so fear the turtle will wash away.   Measurements and pictures taken by the lights of the Patrol Truck.....turtle is to big to dispose of without help so painted orange to indicate already processed and left on the beach until the City could help in the morning

Turtle appeared to be in good condition, carapace had only a few barnacles, 
very nice color

Turtle appeared to be in good condition, carapace had only a few barnacles, 
very nice color

But head tells a different story.  Head is mangled, bone exposed, 

lower jaw is completely missing

Shark attack?   Boat strike?

NMB Sea Turtle Patrol volunteers, Mary and Stan, come across the turtle
early in their walk this morning.

A huge thanks to the North Myrtle Beach Patrol Officers who called the
stranding in and helped process the turtle.  

A big thanks to Mary and Stan for the final picture.  A big surprise for them as they started their walk.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4th, Briarcliffe Nest #2

While NMB was busy with a nest, call comes in from Cindy, that there is a false crawl and a possible nest on Briarcliffe.  

False Crawl

Just a little way South of false crawl, another crawl with nice body pit

Yes,   there are eggs!!


Relocating the eggs

Briarcliffe Nest #2

A huge thanks to Larry, Cindy and Judy.  
Great job

4th of July Turtle Fireworks

July 4th, 2014 started out early....just after midnight, NMB Volunteer, John calls, I have a turtle coming  on shore, just a block from the false crawl yesterday.   Beach was empty and quiet so John watched as the turtle crawled all the way up to the new public walkway , turned and nested close to the wooden structure, so closed that she clipped a wooden support beam on her way back to the ocean.

This morning, the incoming crawl was shorter than the outgoing, indicating the turtle was on the beach a while.  False crawl yesterday, incoming was almost the same length as outgoing.

NMB City crews start early.  Tire marks over the crawl even though before 6AM

Body Pit

She came real close to the public walkway, at one time, John thought she might try to crawl under it

John discussing his experience with fellow NMB Volunteer

Friday Walkers.   Great group of ladies

YES,  Finally the eggs are confirmed!!

LJ from Upstate NY..... Fascinated with the whole event

Holding the one egg taken for DNA

NMB Nest #2

A huge thanks to John, what a night he had.  And a big thanks to all of the early morning July 4th Walkers.   Finally a nest, the first for many of these great people.  

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hurricane Arthur

Thursday,  July 3.   Early morning, bands of rain and rain have already started to hit the beach as Hurricane Arthur skirts our shores.  Connie calls, we have a crawl, incoming and outgoing but the top of the crawl has been raked over already.  The crawl is just above the high tide line but no way to determine if there is a body pit and nest.  Since the incoming and outgoing crawl are about the same length, hope is it was a false crawl and the turtle will be back.  NMB False Crawl #1

Beach was already raked, top of crawl is completely covered over
No way to determine if there was a nest

Volunteers gather, anxious for a nest

wind and rain from Arthur kicks up,  poor Arlene
her umbrella is slowly being destroyed

Earlier, during her walk, Arlene came across this golf cart
abandoned on the beach

Barely had time to put dry clothes on when the call comes in from SC DNR
There is a report of a stranded live turtle on the Briarcliffe Beach

Despite the poor weather conditions,  Larry, Cindy and Judy hurry to the reported location.   Sure enough, juvenile loggerhead at the water's edge.  

Body condition was not bad, some barnacles but not completely covered

Beautiful turtle, no apparent cause of death until the turtle is turned over.....

Huge puncture wound in plastron.....cause of death?

Creative way to move the turtle down the beach

Thank you Segment A walkers for braving the deteriorating weather conditions to make sure the beach was covered.  They were rewarded with a false crawl.....what will tomorrow bring?

Thank you Judy, Cindy and Larry for responding so quickly to the stranding.  All were drenched and wind blown but the turtle was taken care of.  Just sad that we could not help it.

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