Meet Lucky. On August 29th Big Pine Key resident Elizabeth noticed a sea turtle floating in the bay behind her home. Sadly, this summer Elizabeth has seen a few dead turtles around the area behind her home. This sub-adult Loggerhead however was still alive! Named by Elizabeth, Lucky is suffering from deep prop wounds to the head and carapace. Boat hits are quite damaging to sea turtles in many ways. One common problem with an injury like Lucky’s is brain damage. With a severe prop wound to her head Lucky is very listless naturally but able to lift her head and breathe on her own. To watch for signs of brain damage, Turtle Hospital staff monitors her movements looking for cohesiveness and consistency. Lucky also suffers from two prop wounds to the top of her carapace. Propeller wounds can often injure the spine leaving the turtle paralyzed. At this time, it appears that she still has movement in both rear flippers. Lucky is currently being treated with strong antibiotics and her wounds are tended to daily; the prop wounds are flushed, cleaned with a surgical scrub and filled with honey to clean and prevent infection. She is always under the close observing eye of Turtle Hospital Staff for signs of improvement. In this case, time really does help heal wounds.
UPDATE October 25th:
Lucky continues to grow stronger everyday! For the first time, she has begun eating on her own and actively seeking out food! Turtle Hospital Staff continues to be encouraged by her progress as she remains under close observation for improvement.
UPDATE February 22nd 2010:
Lucky continues to occasionally float in the shallow end of the pool. Although her injuries have healed her condition has not improved. We will continue to keep her under close observation.
UPDATE April 4th:
Lucky continues to show little to no improvement. She has recently been moved into the deep end of the pool to encourage her to swim and find her own food. She remains under close observation.
UPDATE August 24th 2010:
One year after her rescue Lucky contines to live a happy and healthy life as a permanent resident at The Turtle Hospital. Life in the keys is easy going. Although Lucky can dive and does not suffer from Bubble Butt Syndrome, the boat hit left her with long-term nerological damage. Sadly, Lucky is unable to feed herself and needs to be hand fed with tongs. It’s not so bad being hand fed, the other sea turtles won’t steal your food. Here’s a photo of Lucky one year later…
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