A 74.9 pound loggerhead was found swimming at the Outer Banks Pier, South Nags Head on October 11, 2011. N.E.S.T. Hotline was called and when the volunteers responded, it was obvious the turtle had sustained a severe head injury. She* was transported to Roanoke Island Animal Clinic where Dr. Mary Burkart cleaned and medically treated the laceration and fractures from the eyes to the nostrils. The turtle was given antibiotics, blood was drawn for a CBC/biochemistry, blood sugar checked, whole body x-rays taken, and fluids given. The turtle was transported to N.E.S.T. Rehab from RIAC. After Aquarist Christian Legner contacted NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine, the loggerhead was transported toMorehead City,NC, for a consult with “Tres” Clarke, DMV, Aquatic/Zoological Medicine Resident at NCSU’s Veterinary School of Medicine. Dr. Clarke found her to be alert, active and in good condition despite the extensive damage, giving her an optimistic prognosis for recovery. There appears to be no brain damage and no damage to her vision.
The loggerhead has returned to N.E.S.T. Rehab at NCARI where she will remain until healed, which is estimated to be 8 months (or more). There is more to tell and there will be ongoing, frequent updates and photos on this N.E.S.T. website so “stay tuned” to follow treatment, care, and recovery.
*She could be a “he” but I tend to refer to all loggerheads over 10 pounds as “she” and will until I see an adult male.