Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle #19-4074

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle #19-4074
Sep 27 2019

Kemp's ridley sea turtles, a critically endangered species, are one of the smallest of the seven sea turtle species. Southwest Florida's shallow bays and inland coastal waters provide a perfect habitat for young Kemp's ridley turtleson the hunt for crabs, their favorite food. 

This Kemp's ridley sea turtle was admitted being rescued from the water near Big Hickory Island with an apparent boat strike injury, one of the many dangers that turtles can face being in waters that are also frequented by humans.

Status Updates

Intake exam - Sep 27 2019 2:35 pm

Volunteers for Turtle Time, who transported the turtle to the #CROWClinic, mentioned that the turtle had become less active as they neared the clinic. The veterinary rushed it into the intake room and immediately used a doppler machine to take heartbeat. The turtle was bradycardic, meaning its heartbeat was slower than normal. The team then placed a catheter and administered fluids to help stabilize the turtle. During the fluids, the team also began to debride or clean the boat strike injury along with taking measurements of the turtle.


The Injury - Sep 27 2019 3:00 pm

The veterinary team scrubbed and flushed the fractured area of the shell, which was approximately 17 cm long and 5 cm wide. After removing dead tissue, sand and shell fragments from the wound, they were relieved to find healthy granulation tissue underneath, which means the turtle was well on its way to healing the wound. Radiographs, however, showed that the wound may have affected the spinal cord which could impact the turtles ability to use its flippers or have appropriate bowel movements.


Bloodwork - Sep 27 2019 5:45 pm

Bloodwork showed signs consistent with respiratory acidosis. Essentially, the turtle was so debilitated and not breathing well enough to maintain normal oxygenation, resulting in changes to the electrolytes in the blood and tissues. Bloodwork also showed high potassium levels which led to a poor prognosis despite intervention with IV fluids.


Sad news - Sep 28 2019 7:30 am

Sadly, the bloodwork proved to be correct and the turtle passed away overnight despite the hard work of the staff to save its life.