Healthy Loggerhead Returns to the Wild
In September, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, released “Magnolia”, a female Loggerhead sea turtle that was found stranded on a local beach last spring. Magnolia was discovered by a beach walker in North Litchfield, stranded on the shore near Magnolia Beach, and transported to the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, SC. 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 some signs of improvement, she was moved to the Ripley’s Aquarium back in July. 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’s 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 have been very pleased with her progress, and she is now very active, eating normally and is ready to be released.”