Barnacle Bob’s Rescue: Sea Turtle Overcoming Barnacle Struggle Finds Hope on Myrtle Beach

A sick sea turtle who was found in Myrtle Beach in May of this year and taken to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital will be released back in to the wild on Wednesday.

Barnacle Bob was found covered in barnacles by an Ocean Watersports in surf around the 400 block of S. Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach on May 6.

The amazing team at Ocean Watersports in Myrtle Beach have rescued yet another sea turtle! Last year they found McAdoo, a juvenile loggerhead that was suffering from both a boat strike and a shark attack and is still healing in our Sea Turtle Hospital. On May 6th, they observed a little green sea turtle getting tossed around in the surf.

When they rescued this weak green turtle from the waves, they realized the turtle was severely emaciated, covered in barnacles, and in need of immediate medical attention. After making a call to North Myrtle Beach turtle team leader Linda Mataya, who is trained and permitted by SCDNR to transport sick and injured sea turtles to our turtle hospital, she retrieved this animal and transported it to Charleston for treatment in our Sea Turtle Hospital.

This little turtle, named “Barnacle Bob,” is an extremely interesting case. Based on the physical exam, s/he is the most emaciated turtle we’ve ever admitted. Surprisingly, this green had a moderate blood glucose level of 48 and a high PCV of 31 (% of red blood cells), values very odd for a turtle so malnourished. Blood sodium levels were extremely high, likely caused by severe dehydration, so aggressive fluid therapy began immediately.

This turtle also had a fairly severe arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) that normalized somewhat after treatments were administered. Like the two admission from the last two days , the turtle was extremely weak and so was put on a bed of wet foam overnight.

The turtle was “the most emaciated turtle we’ve ever admitted,” according to a posting on the South Carolina Aquarium’s website.

About a week after he was admitted, staff wrote “It is astounding that this severely ill turtle is still alive and fighting for survival in our hospital, as initial prognosis was extremely poor.”

But about a month later, Barnacle Bob “has undergone one of the most astounding turnarounds we’ve ever witnessed, and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” aquarium staff wrote.

Barnacle Bob, as well as three other sea turtles, will be released on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Palms County Park in Charleston.

Sia

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