This green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found on Kingsbury Beach in Eastham, MA on November 8, 1999. She was one of 277 endangered sea turtles found stranded on the beaches of Cape Cod during the months of October - December 1999. 144 of these sea turtles were treated at the New England Aquarium's Rescue and Rehab facility during those 3 months.
Upon her entrance exam, she presented with hypothermia, dehydration, malnutrition, corneal abrasions, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypocalemia (low calcium), elevated white blood cell count, fungal infection and, most notably, a severe carapace (shell) fracture from a boat propeller. Her arrival weight was 39.9 kg (87.98 lbs).
Following several months of critical care, she was finally deemed healthy enough to withstand surgery to treat her carapace wound. On March 25, 2000 Green was put under general anesthesia and pieces of broken shell were removed and flushed from the wound. Then an orthopedic surgeon attached a cast to stabilize the two sections of carapace for healing. Over many subsequent months the wounds healed over and the cast was removed on March 10, 2001.
During the next several months she continued to heal and show signs of improved strength. She received regular examinations, including the debridement (cleaning) of the wounds, as well as medications for both fungal and bacterial infections. She enjoyed an ample diet of squid and lots of leafy green vegetables. She also became very tactile, and often solicited a back scratch from her caregivers.
In October 2001 Green was flown to the Virginia Marine Science Museum for the remainder of her rehabilitation in order to allow us to make room for a new round of stranded sea turtles.