The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.



Arrival Date: March 3, 2024


Patient Profile

Name: Plantain

Species: Green Sea Turtle

Weight: 11 pounds 

Reason for visit: Fibropapillomatosis (FP)

Location Found: Transfer patient from the Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, FL

Status Report

03/13/24: Plantain was found washed ashore with another sea turtle (Mojave) on Indian Harbor Beach in Melbourne, Florida. The Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Rescue Team was first on the scene to transport the young Green Sea Turtles to their facility for care. Plantain was very lethargic upon arrival and was in need of supportive care and a nutritious diet to build back her strength. The Turtle Hospital was contacted to take in these two sea turtles as their facility was at capacity. To prepare for the long journey to the Florida Keys, Plantain was fed all her favorite foods (shrimp, clam and lettuce) as well as medications to improve her immune system. Plantain is sick with Fibropapillomatosis (FP) and will continue her journey to a tumor free life at the Turtle Hospital where our skilled resident veterinarian and his rehab team will ensure she receives the best care. 

03/25/24: Plantain has been with our organization for a few days now, she has adjusted well to her hospital tank. Dr. Norton has scheduled Plantain to undergo her first surgery today to remove some of the Fibropapillomatosis (FP) masses located around her eyes. This will not only make her more comfortable, but protect her eyes from further complications that can arise from having these masses in such a sensitive location. Our patients always receive the best care and Plantain will soon travel to Miami this week for Dr. Karpinski, a veterinary ophthalmologist to perform the surgery. Good luck in surgery Plantain!

05/15/24: Plantain’s first surgery went wonderful and has now received two more surgeries to remove those large tumors on her flippers, neck, and groin region. She is feeling much more herself without these large bothersome tumors to weigh her down. Rehab staff have said she is super sweet and loves receiving affection during her wound care treatments. During meal time, Plantain becomes excited and enjoys munching on the large pieces of lettuce. 

06/01/24: We have some amazing news to share. Ms. Plantain is tumor free! After months of hard work and surgeries Plantain is now just a few steps away from being released back into the wild. Dr. Norton has approved for Plantain to be taken off all her medications and is currently in Observation Status. This means we will continue to monitor her just in case there is any regrowth of tumors, along with many changes to her activity while being off supportive medication. Plantain has also received a tank upgrade, currently swimming in the larger hurricane tanks at the front of our facility next to resident sea turtle Bender. Plantain is enjoying the large space by swimming all around her tank, playing with the new enrichment toys and greeting the many visitors to our hospital. Plantain will also start practicing for her swim test, if she passes this test she will be approved for release. But in the meantime please make sure to congratulate Plantain during your next visit to The Turtle Hospital. We are so proud of her hard work and thankful for our incredible rehab team for supporting her through this journey. 

(A swim test consists of three points to be approved for release. They must have one good eye to see, three working flippers, and be a strong swimmer to out run their predators. For Plantain, she has already ahead of the game with perfect vision and four strong flippers. Now she just needs to show she is a strong swimmer).


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