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Friday, May 27, 2011

Little River Stranding

While fishing in the Intracoastal Waterway, between the Little River docks and Windjammer, Jon saw what he thought was a box floating in the middle of the waterway.  Closer examination revealed it was a small, sub-adult Loggerhead.  It tried diving under water as Jon approached but he could see it was badly hurt.  Boat Strike left three deep gashes across it's carapace.  Jon was able to pull the turtle into his boat and headed for the public boat launch under the Hwy 17 Bridge where he called the SC Department of Natural Resources.  DNR called the NMB Sea Turtle Patrol, asking us to check it out and see what was needed to help this turtle.

The decision was quickly made to transport this poor turtle to the Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston.  The turtle was placed in less than an inch of water in a small kid's swimming pool, the wounds were covered with wet towels and a small wet towel was placed over the turtle eyes to calm it. Despite it's injuries, the turtle was very alert and feisty.   Charlie and Linda left NMB immediately with the turtle well secure in the back of their truck, driving south toward Charleston.  Justin from SCDNR left Charleston around the same time, driving north and they met at the Hobcaw Barony Visitor Center in Georgetown.

Justin had another pool in the back of his truck along with the "Turtle Carrier",  designed to secure injured turtles and make transport safer and easier.

Charlie shows Justin the turtle and they decide how to move from one truck to another.

Placing the turtle into the turtle carrier.

Wrapping and securing.  Notice it's front flipper is partially missing.

Despite it's injuries, this turtle was very alert and feisty.  As Justin was wrapping the turtle, it lashed out and grabbed one of the straps.  "Don't mess with Me!"

Justin placing the turtle in his pool to transport the rest of the way where the SC Sea Turtle Hospital Staff were already waiting for it.  He estimated the turtle weighed between 40 and 50 pounds. Justin called me when he arrived, saying there was a lot of concern that one of the gashes may have cut the spinal cord, but the turtle did move it's hind flippers and tail so the prognosis was hopeful,

Thank you Rob for coming so promptly when the late afternoon call came in.  Thank you Charlie for giving up your afternoon and early evening to accompany me on this wild ride.  Thank you Justin for meeting us half way and taking the turtle rest of the way.  Thank you to the SC Sea Turtle Hospital Staff for all the work you do, many times on holiday weekends!!  And a great big thank you to Jon for giving up your fishing to rescue this turtle and to stay with it until help arrived.    Linda

1 comment:

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