The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Some Help for Gaia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA juvenile Green nicknamed ‘Gaia’ was rescued in mid-June at midnight down in Key West where she was found swimming in circles. A lady named Gail knew she was in touble because Gaia also had a heavy load of fibropapilloma tumors.

In our care, we’ve watched Gaia continue to spin in circles. Her head cocks to the right, with her left side floating and right side sunk. When in shallow water, her head is barely able to clear the surface for air without assistance. We knew we needed to do something to help her recover, so we took a page out of ‘Cupid’s’ book. Cupid was also a spinner that was affixed with a floatation harness in order to level him in the water. After a couple of months, Cupid stopped spinning and was able to rest on the bottom of his tank without his floatation harness. We hope for the same result with Gaia!

 Cupid (left) and Gaia (right)

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This condition could be due to a blunt force trauma (like a boat hit) or a parasite overload. Time can help repair nerve damage and medication can clear parasites. So far Gaia continues to circle but she is able to breathe, rest, and eat safely which is a good start! She has already had one surgery to begin removing her FP tumors.

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