Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stranded Leatherback Sea Turtle Update

The Leatherback sea turtle that was stranded here in Lee County was transported to Mote Marine Laboratory. The turtle was promptly named Lizzy. Lizzy is an adult female nearly 5 feet long that weighs a whopping 787 pounds. You can read about her treatment and keep up with her progress.

After I read what was posted on the Mote Marine site, I received this message forwarded on from Amanda our 'Turtle Lady'. The email dated Tuesday, January 05, 2010is from Eve Haverfield of Turtle Time.

Hellooooo All!

What a day!! Received a call from Tom Schemenaur on BHI….”The leatherback is on the beach”! (Gads!! Especially since I told Patty that the sandbar would keep the turtle from coming ashore on this more remote island!) After a momentary brain freeze…and some frantic pacing….I contacted Steve Boutelle of Lee County Marine Science….one of his experts just happened to be near BHI (!!!) in a special boat with a collapsible bow!! With the help of the fantastic staff on BHI….the 787 lb (yes!!!) sea turtle was gingerly inched towards the boat…..carefully lifted on board and transported to Carl E. Johnston Boat Ramp. Paul S, with Lee County Marine Sciences provided a crane and with detailed step-by-step planning, the turtle was hoisted into FWC’s truck (the top of the truck bed was first removed to facilitate easier transport!!)


This turtle was tagged in Colombia, S.A. in 1999…the first ever to be identified here! She is probably around 40 years old…a good age : < })

And now, she is resting at Mote Marine Lab. A team of veterinarians is watching her 24/7! She may be the first ever leatherback in a rehab facility so the utmost care and caution is being taken…all experts have been called in!

An x-ray showed no skull fracture…she had only a minor abrasion on the left side of her head. The laceration on her left rear flipper is being treated…and of course blood work is being done to see if she has some systemic infection. In general, she looks fairly healthy….so everyone is very optimistic!! The goal to return her to health …and to the Gulf as quickly as possible.

Again…thank you to a host of wonderful, helpful, kind, strong, and good-natured, motivated….did I mention wonderful?... group of people!!!!! The BEST!

Will keep you posted!


Eve For more images of the rescue, click on Gallery Scroll down to Video/Photos: Beached again Video showing turtle being hoisted into truck