Tomorrow morning, Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) will release the sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, Cici, from its facility. Cici stranded at Coral Cove Park in Tequesta back in November 2015. The release will take place at 11:00 a.m. at the beach behind LMC (Loggerhead Park). With the help of Jupiter Medical Center, LMC was able to take Cici for a CT scan which showed a condition called pneumocoelom, meaning free air in the coelomic cavity, probably from a ruptured lung.
Pneumocoelom can be problematic for turtles for several reasons; when gas builds up inside sea turtles, they start to become buoyant to the point that they float on the surface of the water and are unable to successfully dive down. This means they are more vulnerable to being blown ashore or being injured by boats or fishing gear. They can also have difficulty finding food.
Figuring out where the pockets of gas were located, using the CT scan, was crucial in preparing Cici for recovery, as treatment for these turtles can vary depending on the location of the air trapped in their bodies. Because buoyancy disorders can be caused by a number of issues, determining the exact problem was no easy task, but the turtle hospital and Jupiter Medical staff were eager to help Cici get back to deep waters! Dr. Lee Fox, Chief of Radiology at Jupiter Medical Center, read the CT scan, and specialists were then able to withdraw six liters of air from where it had built up inside the turtle.
Thanks to Jupiter Medical Center and LMC staff, Cici is healthy and ready to return to her ocean home. Cici will be prepared for release from LMC at 10:30 a.m. A history of Cici’s journey and final arrangements will be conveyed to visitors by one of the center’s education docents. A procession to the beach for her release will follow.