Patient Status: Released on February 22, 2018.
Date Found: October 22, 2017
Location Found: Near Mullet Key, Citrus County, FL
Reason for Rescue: Found entangled in fishing line; Fibropapilloma tumors
WEIGHT: 3.2 kg (7.0 lbs)
SCL (STRAIGHT CARAPACE LENGTH): 29.8 cm (11.7 in)
EXAM FINDINGS: Quiet but alert and responsive, thin body condition. Numerous fibropapilloma tumors on the body.
INITIAL TREATMENT: Received vitamins, antibiotics, and fluids.
On October 22, 2017, a juvenile green turtle with fibropapilloma tumors was found washed up in the mangroves. Fishing line was loosely entangling the turtle’s body, trapping it in the mangrove roots. A member of the public called Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), who sent out Rescue Team personnel to pick up the turtle and bring it back to the aquarium for triage and subsequent care.
Monofilament fishing line is very dangerous for turtles, especially fishing line that remains in the ocean and isn’t disposed of properly. Turtles can get tangled in the line, causing flipper amputations, or they can swallow the line causing digestive problems. It’s important that you clean up after yourself any time you go fishing.
Fibropapillomatosis is a virus that is most common in juvenile green sea turtles and is rarely seen in other sea turtle species. The virus causes cauliflower-like tumors to grow on the turtle’s soft tissues. This virus is very contagious so once a turtle with this virus comes into our facility, it is quarantined in our Intensive Care Unit. Although the cause of this virus is still unknown, you can help by keeping our oceans clean of trash and chemical pollutants.
NAMING THEME: Flowers
DID YOU KNOW?: Lotus was found entangled in fishing line, stuck in mangrove roots.
10/22/17 – Started on a daily regimen of antibiotics, glucose checks, and fluids.
10/24/17 – Swim tested for the first time; performed well. Began slowly increasing the amount of swim time each day.
10/28/17 – Offered food, and ate it all. Slowly began increasing the turtle’s daily diet.
11/2/17 – Antibiotic injections, glucose checks, and fluids discontinued. Started on oral medications.
12/1/17 – Surgical procedure performed to remove external fibropapilloma tumors, including ones that were on the eyes. Started on a daily eye drop regimen to help Lotus’s eyes heal.
12/15/17 – Oral medications discontinued.
12/31/17 – Diet continuing to increase.
All marine turtle footage taken in Florida was obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles. Footage was acquired while conducting authorized conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-17-172.