Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Father Day's Rescue
Late Sunday morning call came in about a turtle hooked off the Apache Pier. Quick trip down, sure enough, a very small Kemps. The manager of the Pier knew not to let anyone pull the turtle up onto the pier with the fishing line. Instead, he used one of the big drop nets and gently raised it. The turtle had two hooks in it's mouth. He was able to remove one hook, a flounder hook, which was superficially lodged in it's cheek. But the second was further in. Again, he knew not to yank it but to call for help. The turtle was immediately picked up and on it's way to the hospital, arriving around 2:30PM.
Upon arrival at the Hospital, the turtle was quickly taken for x-rays. Immediate concern was the position of the hook. Normally a flounder hook is not much of a problem but this little guy was so small, one of the smallest every admitted, just a little over 3 pounds. The hook was in the esophagus very close to the heart.
Fear was if they tried to remove it, it would puncture the heart, if they left it, heart movement would cause it to puncture the heart, death in either case. At first, the doctor though he would have to operate, a two hour surgery, probably with not a very good out come. But in Dr. Boylan's words
"Sunday afternoon, a little Kemp’s ridley with a flounder hook arrived. I was worried the location spelled a pericardial stick, but once we sedated the munchkin, we found the hook was embedded in esophageal papillae and did not penetrate the esophagus to hit the heart. He/she is minus one papillae, but the hook is out. So far so good."
June 22 update from Dr. Boylan..
"The little Kemp’s with a hook from Father’s Day is doing better."
A huge thanks to Carsten Fischer, Manager of the Apache Pier, for making sure the proper steps were taken to ensure the survival of this critically endangered species.
Update: June 23....The little guy is named Apache, after the Pier.
Visit by Beth, NMB STP Volunteer, Apache is swimming around the large pool
Posted by NMB Sea Turtle Patrol at 10:24 AM