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Friday, May 16, 2014

First stranding of 2014 on NMB

Saturday, May 10th.....NMB Dispatched called early, before 7AM....We have a report of a live sea turtle on the beach, 18th Ave N.   Expectations ran high,  was it a nesting turtle, was it a sea turtle who needed help...was it just an aquatic land turtle who took a wrong turn and landed on the beach?

Quick trip to the site......a good size juvenile loggerhead turtle was quickly found with its head completely submerged in a tide pool.  A beach walker soon approached us and explained he found the turtle at the high tide line, but thinking it needed to be in the water, dragged it down the beach and placed in deeper water.

This turtle was still alive when we arrived, but just barely. A fairly large juvenile, it's carapace was about 30 inches from notch to tip.   Only response was it's blinking it's eyes when I moved my finger close to it and touched above the eye.  DNR and the Sea Turtle Hospital were quickly called and plans were made to transport to Charleston.  But before we could get the turtle into a car, it eye response, quick check with Sea Turtle Hospital and they verified it died.

Poor turtle, such a shame it did not have the chance to grow into maturity.  This turtle was very emaciated and covered with epibiota (barnacles, ghost shrimp, other hitchhikers).  It had been sick a long time.  

Please, if you come across a turtle on the beach, Leave it alone.  Do not place in the water...if it is on the beach, it needs help.

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