Green sea turtle, hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, leatherback, and loggerhead are the five main types of sea turtles. All are threatened. Combined, the world population of sea turtles numbers fewer than 1 million.
We met Simone at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center while away on Christmas vacation to Jekyll Island. We watched her energetically swim around her hospital tank and attack her fresh crab lunch. The moment she poked her head out of the water to get a clear look at us, we decided to adopt her. She is a fighter, as if her missing rear flipper wasn't evidance enough, and we felt obligated to help fight for the protection of these marvelouos creatures on her behalf. We look forward to the day, after she has fully recovered, when we will be able to particpate in her release and then continue tracking her life's journey.
Simone, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, arrived at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on July 3, 2008. Simone had stranded on Little St. Simon’s Island and was found early that same morning by the Island’s Naturalist staff. They scooped up the turtle, loaded it into their skiff and headed to the St. Simon’s Marina for pickup by the GSTC staff.
Upon arrival at the Center, it was obvious that the turtle was suffering from debilitated turtle syndrome, an illness common among stranded turtles. First and foremost, Simone was extremely thin, weighing in at only 40 lbs. The Loggerhead’s skin was exceptionally yellow and iron levels in her blood were very low, indicating a severe case of anemia. The carapace was covered with a moderate load of barnacles that needed to be cleaned off, which lead to the patchy & exposed bone on the top of her shell. Upon further examination, Simone revealed a missing right rear flipper, but the injury had already healed over (possibly a boat strike injury or shark/orca whale bite).
Despite her missing flipper and illness, Simone was able to swim once she was placed in her hospital tank and began eating food on her own, much to the delight of the staff. X-rays revealed possible blockages in the gastrointestinal tract, commonly seen in debilitated turtles. As a precaution, Simone’s diet has been changed to a no-bone, no crab diet to prevent further blockage. We hope for a full recovery and will continue to monitor her progress.
Regular shell cleaning & bloodwork, filleted seafood diet with mineral oil.
Simone was successfully released from Jekyll Island, GA on May 13, 2009 during the Georgia Sea Turtle Center's week-long Nest Fest event and anniversary celebration. Prior to release she was fitted with tags and a satellite transmitter.