Stranding Date: 31 July 2021
Location: Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, Santa Rosa County, Florida
Circumstances: hooked; injuries
“Lorax” is a unique loggerhead who came from the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier this summer. A piece of monofilament was found deep in a wound on their left front flipper, and that was how the turtle got accidentally. After the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center team rescued the turtle, they knew to bring them immediately to GWMI. In addition to being hooked, Lorax is recovering from extensive injuries to the flippers, head, and both sides of the shell. One very deep wound, on the left front flipper, might be evidence that the turtle was entangled for some time, although not much fishing gear was found on that flipper. The wound is so deep, one of the flipper bones is visible!
You might be asking: how can we treat a patient whose bone is so visible? These patients are not easy, and they require longer time periods in rehabilitation. Lorax receives medical attention often. The veterinary staff checks their injuries, in order to make sure they are healing properly. To encourage this, they also apply honey to the wounds! Honey has many beneficial properties in wound care, and helps to encourage healing. Lorax also receives regular antibiotics and fluids.
Another important part of the rehabilitation process is the patient’s diet. While Lorax has started to show some interest in food, volunteers are always on hand to help assist the turtle if necessary. Once Lorax can eat well on their own, the volunteers will be able to provide easy meals with minimal interaction. This helps to prevent the turtle from recognizing people as a food source.
Lorax and other pier-rescued sea turtles owe their rescue to many of Gulf World Marine Institute’s asset providers in the Florida Panhandle. Thank you to the NBSTCC for Lorax’s rescue, and thank you to all of our pier partners for their help working towards sea turtle rescue. Below is a photo of Lorax after they received their first round of would care! And don’t worry about the tube in their mouth. Lorax was given medicine to encourage sleep while their wounds were cleaned; this made sure Lorax didn’t feel any pain!