Stranding Date: May 29, 2019
Location: Panama City, Florida
Circumstances: unknown illness
In the evening on May 29, local Turtle Watch staff received a call of a sea turtle acting strangely. Seen floating in St. Andrews Bay, locals noticed he or she was moving slowly and remained in very shallow water. After being rescued and assessed by the GWMI team, Barney was treated with fluids and antibiotics because he/she was underweight, covered in barnacles, and had problematic bloodwork. Barney’s name came from the amount of barnacles on his carapace, or top shell.
The animal was showing signs of debilitated sea turtle syndrome, with multiple symptoms, but no clear cause. These symptoms can include low levels of electrolytes in the blood, evidence of infection in the blood or lungs, and weak bodies. However, while these animals arrive in poor condition, medical treatment can have very positive effects. Currently, Barney receives antibiotics, regular checkups, and close observation from the volunteers each day.
Remember, if you see a sea turtle behaving unusually, report the animal to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Hotline by dialing #FWC or *FWC on your cell phone, or call 1-888-404-3922.