Green Sea Turtle
Harold arrived at Clearwater Marine Aquarium on July 18th 2010, after he was found crawling on the beach at Fred Howard Park. Harold was just a little guy, and weighed less than 9lbs. He had no obvious wounds, was in good body condition overall, and had only one small pap tumor on the underside of his neck. He was given a swim test on the same day he arrived, and not only was he floating, but he was bumping into walls, and it was believed he may have trouble with his vision. Harold began adapting well to tube feedings after only a week, and began trying to forage on his own about a month after his arrival. By the end of summer, Harold was no longer receiving fluids or tube feedings, and was foraging mostly on his own. Even though he was doing his best to feed, he would still miss food, or take a long time to find it once it reached the bottom. Harold ate well with our guidance, but we still believed he had some issues with his eyesight that would need to be addressed if we ever wanted him to be considered a candidate for release.
On May 15th, 2011, Harold was finally pap tumor free, after undergoing a successful laser surgery (conducted by Dr. Walsh). Harold continued to make progress, and discussions began about whether or not he would ever be able to be released. We faced a few problems with Harold regarding this topic. First, if Harold were to be released into the wild, would he be able to see well enough to survive on his own? Second, if Harold couldn't be released, would he become a permanent resident at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium? Unfortunately, most facilities will not accept a turtle that ever had a history of having the papilloma virus, and on top of THAT, our staff and volunteers had become so attached to Harold it would be difficult to see him go. On May 13, 2013, Harold was moved upstairs to Turtle Bayou to share the other half of Cocoa's pool. Unfortunately for Harold, he began swimming into walls (his previous pool was round), was having trouble locating his food, and needed to be hand-fed. While he is enjoying all of the additional attention he receiving, the transfer to his new pool has resulted in a decreased ability for him to forage, and it is now believed his vision may actually be compromised in both eyes.