Ripley’s Rescues and Returns to the Wild

Based in coastal Carolina, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach strives to help the local community and region, using their resources and knowledge to rescue marine wildlife up and down the coast. Below are a few rescue stories that are near and dear to our hearts!

Magnolia was a female Loggerhead sea turtle found stranded on a local beach, discovered by a beach walker in North Litchfield. She was quickly transported to the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina, where, upon initial examination by the animal care staff at the SC Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital, Magnolia was found to be emaciated, anemic, covered in barnacles, and made little effort to move. Magnolia was given fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and her vitals were routinely checked until it was determined she was strong enough to travel.

Once Magnolia began to show signs of improvement, she was moved to Ripley’s Aquarium. The Animal Husbandry Team at Ripley’s removed barnacles from Magnolia’s shell and conducted a series of blood tests and check-ups to ensure she was making progress.

The Ripley’s Aquarium staff worked alongside Charlotte Hope, a Wildlife Biologist with the SC DNR and Dr. Bob George, the Aquarium’s Chief of Veterinary Services to tag Magnolia and give her one last check-up before her release.

According to Tim Handsel, Director of Husbandry at Ripley’s, “Magnolia was in need of a place to recuperate and recover. We were very pleased with her progress, and she was very active, eating normally and was ready to be released.”

A Green Sea Turtle Rescue

Recently, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach received eight young, ‘cold-stunned’ sea turtles that were found washed up on North Carolina shoreline, for care and rehabilitation. Cold stunned simply means hypothermia due to the sudden temperature drop in coastal waters. After four weeks of care by the Husbandry Team at Ripley’s Aquarium, led by Senior Aquarist Sean Boyd, the turtles improved to the point South Carolina authorized their release into the warmer waters of St. Augustine, Florida.

Updates directly from Sean Boyd were made on our Facebook Page:

Myrtle Beach Facebook
sea turtles

“During their stay with us here at Ripley’s Aquarium, each turtle received antibiotics, blood tests, weight measurements, and constant observation to ensure their return to normal eating patterns and good health,” said Tim Handsel, Director of Husbandry at Ripley’s Aquarium.

“Turtles are very resilient creatures,” said Sean Boyd, “and important members of our marine eco system. If you discover a sea turtle washed up on the beaches of South Carolina, we ask that you please call the SC DNR Hotline at 1-800-922-5431.