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Animals

Harold

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Harold
Male – 28 kilos.
Diet: Squid, Capelin and Leafy Greens
Arrival Date: 7/18/10
Harold was found in Fred Howard Park crawling on the beach weighing less than 4 kilos. He had no obvious wounds, was in good body condition 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, seemingly having trouble with his vision. Harold began adapting well to tube feeding 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. 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 to be considered for release.

On May 15th, 2011, Harold was pap tumor free after undergoing a successful laser surgery conducted by Dr. Walsh. Harold continued to make progress and discussions began about whether he would ever be able to be released. We faced a few problems. 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 be able to reside as a permanent resident?

On May 13, 2013, Harold was moved upstairs to Turtle Bayou to share Cocoa's pool. Unfortunately, he began swimming into walls, was having trouble locating his food and needed to be hand-fed. While he is enjoying all of the additional attention he receiving, it is now believed his vision may be compromised in both eyes.

Dr. Walsh decided Harold was a candidate for visual activity testing conducted by the University of Florida’s neurologist, Dr. Schubert and on November 5, 2013 was transferred for examination. Sensors were placed on Harold’s head and neck to record brain waves and he was placed into a CMA developed exam box filled with 3 inches of water.  During the testing, a series of flashing lights, strobe light pattern, were played for each eye and brain wave readings were recorded. It was determined both eyes perform well, however the brain is not interpreting the information correctly.  Ophthalmologists from the university also examined Harold’s eyes and determined the left eye had a slower pupil response compared to the right eye.

Harold is currently residing in Turtle Cove and has helped us to better understand visual complications on stranded sea turtles.

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