“Fritz” is a local cold-stun turtle from this past winter season. However, after arriving from St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, it was quickly obvious that Fritz had some additional concerns. Running diagonally down his/her carapace (top shell), Fritz has a large crack, which is evidence of traumatic injury.
After making sure Fritz could manage a water habitat, the veterinary team began to assess the injury. In order to determine the level of damage, the injury had to be cleaned of algae and any remaining sand. And after determining the depth of the injury, the decision was made to give Fritz wears a “brace”. Made of small hooks and wire, it sits over the middle of the injury. The goal of the brace is to encourage the wound to seal together again during the healing process.
Cleaning the injury regularly, and making room for healthy tissue growth, is very important in wound care. So in addition to medication, Fritz receives also gets wound care regularly. Gulf World Marine Institute staff and volunteers continue to monitor Fritz for changes in swimming ability.
Fritz and other St. Joseph Bay cold-stun sea turtles owe their rescue to many of Gulf World Marine Institute’s asset providers in Gulf County, including the United States Geological Survey, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Coastal Conservancy, the Northern Gulf Turtle and Coastal Research Group, and the Indian Pass Sea Turtle Patrol.