By Katie Ditloff for Island Eye News
Two sea turtles rehabilitated at the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program were returned home on August 6, 2014. Bay, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, and Mitchel, a loggerhead sea turtle.
Bay, an 11-pound juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, was accidentally caught by a fisherman at the Edisto Beach State Park fishing pier in June of this year. Bay swallowed the fishing hook and was quickly transported to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program where Veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan surgically removed the hook from Bay’s esophagus. Had the fisherman simply cut the line leaving the hook in Bay’s throat, the endangered turtle could have died.
After surgery, Bay received antibiotics, vitamins, and a healthy diet of assorted fish. After three months of care, Bay is fully healed and ready to return to the Atlantic Ocean.
Mitchel, a 65-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, was found stranded in the pluff mud on Hilton Head Island in May of this year. Mitchel was found entangled in a fishing rig, malnourished, anemic and covered in barnacles. Upon admission to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program, Mitchel was in a dangerous state of decline. The fishing line, weight, and hook were all removed, and Rescue Program staff administered fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, and a healthy diet. With a clean bill of health, Mitchel has been swimming around his/her tank and is enjoying a healthy diet in preparation for the trip back into the open ocean.