Adoption – Seal


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Date: September 15, 2022
Location: St. Joseph Bay, Gulf County, FL
Circumstances: vessel strike
After a busy summer of hook removals and loggerheads, “Seal” the green sea turtle is presenting different challenges than any of our other current patients. Similar to “Shamrock”, Seal was brought to GWMI after he/she was found with significant traumatic injuries. In Seal’s case, two propeller wounds on the back of the carapace have are cause for concern.
Seal was found by researchers with the Sea Turtle Conservancy while they were working in St. Joseph Bay. And while it is clear the injuries are not fresh, Seal still is on antibiotics to help fight any potential infections. Of possibly larger concern is Seal’s mobility. The first of the two injuries is deep, and might be impacting Seal’s rear flipper mobility. The flippers respond to touch, which is good. However, when they are not being stimulated, they rest very close to each other and do not move. This is, in fact, where the name “Seal” came from; with the two rear flippers constantly being tucked, the turtle resembles a seal.
It is still very early in Seal’s rehabilitation, and this case is going to be challenging. That being said, it is a positive sign that the rear flippers are still able to flex and move somewhat when stimulated. With active monitoring, the veterinary staff will determine the next course of treatment work on Seal’s flipper mobility.
Below is a photo of Seal’s injury site, viewed from the side.
A big thank you to the Sea Turtle Conservancy crew who rescued Seal, and FWC for providing transport.