Team Work! – By Tommy Cutt

This past Monday we received a call from FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) informing us of an injured adult, female Loggerhead Sea Turtle that was found stranded on the south side of the Palm Beach Inlet. While attempting to return to the water after nesting, the turtle, later named “Bremusa,” fell off the jetty and into the rocks. She was wedged vertically between the rocks and the jetty.

Naming rights to our rehab patients is one way that we show thanks to those who help in our rehab-ilitation process. COO, David McClymont, has assisted us many evenings in the hospital. He has always made himself available to help carry a large turtle or assist with an injection. It was with great pleasure that we gave naming rights for this turtle to David. David chose the name, “Bremusa.” The name Bremusa originates from Greek Mythology. Bremusa was an Amazonian warrior; her name means, “Raging Female.” This name would become a perfect fit for this turtle!

Bremusa, a 200 pound adult Loggerhead, arrived at our hospital late in the morning on Monday. We were very excited to see her high activity level and she appeared to be very strong. We began our intake procedures, which include blood work, x-rays, and both a physical and neurological exam. Bremusa was less than cooperative through our intake procedures, and continuously attempted to crawl out of the bin where she was being held.  Dr. Mette performs a full veterinary exam on all of our sea turtle patients. The results of the exam indicated that this was a very healthy turtle. She did have a small fracture in her carapace; however, it was stable and would not require rehab/hospital care. We gave her two liters of fluid intravenously and she was then cleared for release.

Sea Turtle Ambulance

By the time Bremusa was cleared for release, our volunteers had already left for the day. It is always our goal in the LMC hospital to release our patients to the ocean as soon as they are ready.  Fortunately, we have a very dedicated team at the LMC who are dedicated to sea turtle conservation. We received helped from various departments within our center and were able to successfully release Bremusa Monday evening. We would not be able to do what we do in the rehab dept/hospital if not for the help we receive from other departments. Photo By: Victoria Sawyer

I would like to thank the following people for their help in making Bremusa’s release successful:

Communication/Development Manager, Tom Longo; Chief Operating Officer, David McClymont; Education Departments, Sonja Strandlie and Caroline Tapley; Intern Team Leaders, Victoria Ternullo and Lauren Fields; Intern, Victoria Sawyer. Thank You!

Wake up Call

When I get an early morning call from a member of our research staff it’s typically a good sign that my day is going to a busy one! Our research team is on the beach at sunrise each morning, surveying all of the sea turtle nesting activity from the previous night. If there is a stranded turtle in their survey area, they will find it first.

This past Wednesday I received an early morning call from Chris, our staff biologist. He was doing the Tequesta nesting survey when he came across an adult female Loggerhead stuck in the rocks at Coral Cove Park. Turtles stuck in rocks have been a far too common occurrence this nesting season. Chris indicated that the turtle may be in need of medical assistance and that we would need a few people to remove her from the rocks. I packed up the sea turtle ambulance and headed up to Coral Cove Park.

Hospital Coordinator, Melissa Ranly, and Christie Owens from the research department arrived to help remove the turtle as well. The turtle was an adult, female Loggerhead (+/-250 lbs.). She managed to fall into the rocks while trying to return to the ocean after nesting the previous night. The position and formation of the rocks surrounding this turtle was going to make for a very difficult rescue. Teamwork, very careful footwork, and our newly donated sling allowed us to safely remove the turtle from the rocks. We then checked her for injuries. The turtle was very strong and healthy with no apparent injuries. Our next step was to get this turtle safely back into the water. We placed her in the new sling once again and brought her to the waters edge. She took off immediately upon entering the water.

Just as we finished releasing this female loggerhead, Chris said that a fisherman told him that there may be another turtle up the beach stuck in the rocks as well. Chris took off up the beach on the ATV to assess the situation. Upon returning, he indicated that there was indeed another turtle in the rocks; however, this one was a Green Sea Turtle. Just as in the above two cases, the turtle managed to get stuck in the rocks while attempting to return to the water after nesting. Chris and I were able to free her from the rocks and she swam off, powerfully into the ocean.

Sea Turtle Ambulance

In the future I will update this blog several times weekly. Progress notes on our current patients will be updated every Friday. This info can be viewed in our current patients section. If you have any questions that you would like me to address in the blog feel free to send me an email, tcutt@marinelife.org. Photo By: CJ, turtleimages.org

 

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