Species: Green Sea Turtle
(Chelonia mydas)

Stranding Date
: July 6, 2011
Stranding Location: Reef off Boynton Beach

Initial Weight
: 28.16 lbs.
Current Weight: 26.84 lbs.

Injury: Rescued by divers with multiple fishing hook ingestion



Splash is a juvenile Green sea turtle that was found off shore by local divers. The turtle had multiple hooks located in the mouth and on the flipper, a blockage in the intestines was also noted during initial radiographs. The hooks in the mouth were removed and surgery was performed to remove the hook in the flipper. During recovery after the surgery the turtle successfully passed the blockage, which was a decent size bundle of monofilament line. The turtle is recovering well and will be treated with pain medication, antibiotics, and a medication to treat the ulcerative lesions noted on the intestines during surgery.


12/7/2011 – Splash’s appetite and activity level remain high. The turtle’s bloodwork will be rechecked this week. Now that the antibiotics series has been completed, bloodwork results will determine if the continuation of the antibiotics is needed.

11/30/2011 – Splash is recovering well. The turtle has a great appetite and its activity level remains high. Splash’s bloodwork will be rechecked next week for signs of improvement.

11/23/2011 – Splash’s appetite and activity level remain high. The turtle’s bloodwork will be rechecked after the antibiotic series is completed to ensure that the issue has fully resolved.

11/16/2011 – Splash is continuing to receive an antibiotic series to resolve the turtle’s infection and resulting elevated white blood cell count. Splash is eating well and remains very active.

11/9/2011 – Splash’s bloodwork revealed that the white blood cell count has not improved sufficiently enough so we have continued the antibiotic series. We will monitor Splash’s progress and provide a nutritious diet with multivitamin supplementation until fully recovered.

11/2/2011 – Splash continued to eat well and gain weight accordingly this week.  Bloodwork was taken this week and will be reviewed for improvements. So far we have already noted that the anemia has resolved. Splash was fitted with flipper tags and a pit tag (microchip) in anticipation of the turtle’s release in the future. This will help identify the turtle if it is ever spotted, seen nesting or stranded after its release.

10/26/2011 – Splash ate well this week and gained weight. The turtle was also given the chance to use a new enrichment device that it could use to scratch its back with. Splash seemed to enjoy exploring the new device and was seen rubbing its carapace and plastron with it. We will continue to monitor Splash’s progress until fully recovered and ready for release.

10/19/2011 – Splash maintained the same weight the last week. The turtle eats well and is very active. We will continue to monitor Splash’s progress until fully recovered and ready for release.

10/12/2011 – Splash lost a small amount of weight this week but is still eating all of its food in combination with large amounts of vegetation so this is not a major concern. This could be due to the turtle’s high activity level. We will increase the food rations and continue to monitor Splash’s weight.

10/5/2011 – Splash has continuously gained weight over the past few weeks and is eating all 150 grams that’s offered every day, not to mention the large amount of greens as well. We have also started actively using enrichment devices with Splash for feedings. The food is placed inside a water cooler jug which has holes drilled into the sides. The food is cut small enough to fit through the holes and the turtle must spin the jug to get the food to fall out through the holes. She has been doing extremely well with this and we’ve even increased the difficulty to a jug with less holes and she still was able to get all of the food out.

9/28/2011 – Splash has been gaining weight since the last diet increase and we will continue to monitor this progress. The wounds from the hooks are healing well and only need to be treated about once a week at this point.

9/21/2011 – Splash’s food rations are being increased weekly in order to encourage sufficient weight gain. The turtle continues to eat well and enjoys vegetation as well as fish and squid.

9/14/2011 – Splash’s wounds have greatly improved and the turtle continues to thrive and gain weight. Splash received its preventative deworming treatment this week to treat for any possible parasites.

9/7/2011 – Splash’ wounds have almost completely healed and need minimal topical scrubs or treatment at this point. Splash continues to eat well and is making improvements in the right direction.

8/31/2011 – The bloodwork revealed that further treatment will be necessary before Splash will be ready for release. We will also continue to topically treat the wound and suture sites as necessary.

8/24/2011 – Splash’s wounds have almost completely healed and need minimum debriding at this point. We will check Splash’s bloodwork shortly to see if the infection has resolved significantly enough to be considered ready for release.

8/17/2011 – The sutures from Splash’s exploratory surgery to remove monofilament have been removed. The wound from the hook that was embedded in the front flipper is being debrided daily and treated topically. Splash’s activity level and appetite remain high.

8/10/2011 – Splash has finished the series of antibiotics and the turtle’s appetite and activity level remain high.

8/3/2011 – Splash has begun to eat all of the food being offered daily and is now interested in the vegetation being given as well. Splash’s weight is stable and the turtle’s activity level has improved.

7/26/2011 – Splash’s activity level is improving as the turtle continues to eat and gain weight. The turtle is still not eating the full amount offered daily so we will be monitoring the turtle’s appetite to be sure that this is not the result of any medical complication. We have already taken another series of radiograph to rule out that there is no disruption in the digestive tract. So far we are pleased with Splash’s diagnostic improvement.

7/19/2011 – Splash is eating moderate amounts of food and maintaining weight. The turtle continues to receive antibiotics and the wounds are still being treated.  Splash is active and doing well in the tank.

7/12/2011 – Splash continues to heal from the fishing hook and monofilament removal surgery with the help of antibiotics and pain medication. The turtle has begun eating well and its activity level is increasing accordingly.  We will continue to monitor and treat the hook wounds as needed and provide the medical and nutritional support needed to aid in recovery.



Leave a Comment