The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

“Good Hope” at a Turtle’s Pace

Founder Richie Moretti breaks apart pieces of live crab, hoping the smell will entice Good Hope to eat.

Good Hope seems to be showing the Rehab staff that she will be doing things at her own pace.  Despite the two doses of Vasotocin administered on Friday, we did not see any eggs laid throughout that day or night.  However, just as the Rehab enclosure was getting closed down for the night on Saturday, Rehabbers Matt Brochhausen and Stacey Venzel found 3 very white eggs in Good Hope’s tank.  As the turtle was in shallow salt water, the eggs were immediately—albeit gently—rinsed in fresh water before being placed in an incubator.  Another set of hourly check-ups Saturday night, September 8, did not yield further results.  Nevertheless, Good Hope’s energy has ever so slightly improved.  She continues to reside in a tank of shallow water, lifting her head for clear breaths of air.  The total count of laid eggs to date is 35, with 29 of these eggs being potentially viable.

Founder Richie Moretti has been in the tank with her for the past two mornings offering the turtle live crab and pieces of squid.  Despite placement feeding, she does not appear to be swallowing any food.

Good Hope clears the surface for a breath of air during a low-stress physical therapy session in shallow water.


Separated into incubators based on the date laid, Good Hope’s count of potentially viable eggs is up to 29.

Good Hope has not eaten for weeks.  While the slow metabolism of reptiles can allow sea turtles to go months without eating, they will still get very weak from a lack of food.  With improved motion and circulation from current and future physical therapy sessions, Good Hope may gain an appetite and the strength to swallow food.  Unfortunately, much of her anticipated progress is a waiting game, as, aforementioned, Good Hope likes to take baby steps and do so on her own watch.  We are reminding ourselves that patience is a virtue, and vigilance is of the utmost importance so that we do not miss any advancement in Good Hope’s condition.  She’s going to have a long road ahead of her if she pulls through, so send some good thoughts Good Hope’s way!

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