Patient Status: Released on February 22, 2018.
Date Found: December 2, 2017.
Location Found: Near Crystal River, Citrus County, FL.
Reason for Rescue: Fishing Line Entanglement; fibropapilloma tumors.
WEIGHT: 6.5 kg (14.2 lbs)
SCL (STRAIGHT CARAPACE LENGTH): 40.1 cm (15.8 in)
EXAM FINDINGS: Quiet and alert, with a thin body condition. A few external fibropapilloma tumors, large number of leeches on the body. Tangled in monofilament fishing line around both front flippers and the neck. Missing right hind flipper (healed).
INITIAL TREATMENT: Received vitamins, antibiotics, fluids, and fishing line was removed.
On December 2, 2017, a fisherman found two turtles – Snapdragon and Thistle – entangled together in monofilament line in the water, both with fibropapilloma tumors. He collected both turtles and called the Clearwater Marine Aquarium stranding line. Rescue personnel from the aquarium met the fisherman and brought the turtles back to the aquarium for triage and 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
FUN FACT: Snapdragon was found entangled with fellow green sea turtle, Thistle. Only a few weeks prior, 2 other green turtles were found tangled together in fishing line – Honeysuckle and Ivory.
12/3/17 – Received a freshwater bath to remove leeches. Started on a daily regimen of antibiotic injections, glucose checks, and fluids.
12/4/17 – Performed well during initial swim test. Slowly began to increase swim time in deep water.
12/6/17 – Offered food for the first time, and ate all of it. Slowly began to increase daily diet.
12/15/17 – Discontinued antibiotic injections, glucose checks, and fluid administration. Started on oral medications.
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.