Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii)

Age Class Subadult
Gender Female
Date Stranded July 21, 2021
Location of Stranding Turtle Beach, Sarasota County
Date of Arrival July 21, 2021
Number of Days of Care 44 days

Final Disposition



07/21/2021  Memebers of the public reported a turtle in the Gulf of Mexico at Turtle Beach, Siesta Key struggling to breath.  FWC instructed them to bring the turtle out of the water and to the beach.  Mote staff and interns responded and transported "Sterling" to Mote for rehabilitation.  Sterling is a subadult, female Kemp's ridley sea turtle.  Physical exam reveals animal is in good body condition (weighs 20.25 kg) and has no obvious physical injuries.  Animal is exhibiting neurologic symptoms consistent with Red Tide toxicity.  Animal had blood work run and was given subcutaneous fluids, injectable vitamin B, and an antibiotic injection.  She was dry-docked overnight because she was too neurologically compromised to be left in shallow water.

07/23/2021  Sterling had more blood work run, x-rays were taken, and she was given more subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics.  X-rays show a lot of crab like prey in her GI tract.  Her neurologic symptoms are improving daily and she was relocated to a rehabilitaion pool and will be kept in very shallow water until acting completely normal.  

07/28/2021  Sterling ate shrimp, squid, and clam today.

07/29/2021  Turtle is acting more normal, so they water depth of her tank was increased.

08/13/2021 Sterling continues to eat all prey items offered.  She is very active throughout the day.  Her tank depth is increased to full.

09/02/2021  Sterling was medically cleared for release.  Mote staff transported her to Marco Island and she was released today!

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