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Wednesday, October 25, 2017


On Oct 21st reports started coming in about an entangled large sea turtle just off the end of the Apache Pier.  A turtle was seen coming up to the surface in the same general location for a couple of days.  NMB STP made a quick trip to the pier but could not see the turtle.  SC DNR was notified and they called in the SC DNR Law Enforcement who came to the Pier on Sunday,  Oct 22,  two Law Enforcement Officials spent over an hour dragging the vacinity off the pier where the turtle was seen.  The turtle made one brief appearance as the boat was getting ready to leave and then disappeared again..

As the boat was leaving, call came in fron the other side of the pier, we have a hooked loggerhead.  Sure enough, a large juvenile loggerhead,  This poor guy was in rough shape, missing a good share of it's right front flipper.  The raw part of the injury was where the hook was located.  The turtle thrashed around and tried to dislodge the hook with it's mouth.  Several attempst were made to net the turtle, using a large drop net especially made by the NMB STP for large turtles.  The turtle evaded the net, swam under the pier and broke the line.

Many bystanders claimed to have seen this turtle before, watching the turtle from the pier and feeling bad for the damaged flipper.  Some claimed to have seen it for weeks.

Then, on Wednesday, Oct 25, call came that around 9AM, the turtle had been hooked again, this time around the mouth and several fisherman had been able to net it.  Despite it's heavy weight, it was hauled up onto the Pier.  The NMB STP could not respond to the call so notified SC DNR who immediately sent two of their staff up to the Pier, a 2.5 hour drive from Charleston.

Thus begins Clumpy's journey in the SC SeaTurtle Care Center.  Clumpy arrived late in the afternoon, weighing in at a hefty 142 pounds, fiesty as ever.  Quick triage, most obvious wound was the missing front flipper, thought to be the result of a prior entanglement.  Although healing, marine leeches invaded the raw wound, causing an infection.   Radiosgraphs showed two broken hook fragments, one in injured flipper, the other in the esophagus.

Clumpy never lost her appetite and within days was eating well.  Shortly after arriving she did pass several pieces of marine debris including wood, monofilament line, fishing lures and styrofoam floats.  Her fecal matter also included different types of fish bones as well as a stingray barb.  It is felt she was hanging around the Pier a while, feeding on scraps and snagging on lines.

By November 1st, Clumpy was moved into the recovery area of the Zucher Family Sea Turtle Care Center.   Still active and very fiesty......a wonderful turtle

1 comment:

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