CHARLIE Loggerhead
(Caretta caretta)
Admitted 6/22/98
WEIGHT: 14.1 kg
SCL:          48.3 cm 
SCW:         46.5 cm
Age Estimate 4-6 Years 
Gender undetermined
Released 9/12/00
THE INJURY: Charlie was found floating behind Wrightsville Beach, NC.  A small Loggerhead sea turtle with an overwhelming amount of shell and bone damage. Some of the shell and bone damage is consistent with a boat propeller injury.  In addition to the recent shell damage the cuts have penetrated the lungs, thus diminishing survival chances.
overhead view of CharlieUpon arrival 6/22/98
THE TREATMENT: This sea turtle was placed in shallow water and continually monitored until surgery could be performed.  Charlie was transported by KBSTRRC volunteers to the Wrightsville Beach Pet Hospital in Wrightsville Beach, NC.
    Veterinarians Christy Redfearn and Clif Simmons anesthetized the sea turtle and over the next 60 minutes repaired the injured carapace as much as possible.  First dead bone was removed. Then 5 sets of stainless steel screws were inserted in the carapace.  Next  surgical wire was used to loop around the screws, in an attempt to bind the separated pieces together.
     After the surgery,  Charlie came out of the anesthesia and was returned to the KBSTRRC where s/he continues to be monitored.
THE PROGNOSIS: Charlie no longer requires tube feeding.  He is enjoying a varied diet including crab, flounder and menhaden.  He remains in shallow water due to the severity of the wounds.
Additional tests have been performed on other areas of the carapace which is in a extreme degraded state.  Results of these tests show a fungal infection. The exact fungus has not yet been determined.
Area of lung puncture by 9/10/98
Area of lung puncture 4/14/99
Area of lung puncture 11/10/99
THE PROGRESS Charlie was transported to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine 8/18/98.
A CT scan provided great news about the lungs.  Charlie has 100% use of one lung and better than 50% use of the other.  Additionally, Dr. Michael Stoskopf, assisted by Dr. Felicia Nutter, removed dead bone from the injured lung area.  The surgical screws and wires were removed from the carapace at this time.
The doctors advised to continue treating the fungal infection on the carapace with a weak betadine solution.
UPDATE 10/29/98 Thursday was Happy Turtle day at the KBSTRRC.  After more than 4 months in extremely shallow water Charlie's tank was filled with water.  He took quite a spin, up and down and around, stopping to scratch on the overflow pipe, then around again.
A rehabilitation milestone reached for sea turtle and staff alike.

Privacy please (hospital gowns!)
Medical staff hard at work
Beautiful tissue fills in gap
Fungal infection slowly healing
Quick plastron scrub
Almost finished
Click on any photo above  for enlargement
UPDATE 6/2/99 Charlie was examined by visiting medical staff and students  from the NC
State University College of Veterinary Medicine. This turtle appears
healthy and continues to heal. Blood tests, weights and measures support this:
PCV 39, Glucose 82.
Straight Carapace Length  56.8 cm
Straight Carapace Width   49.2 cm
Curved Carapace Length  61.8 cm
Curved Carapace Width   56.4 cm
UPDATE 10/22/99 Charlie, October 1999The wound is examined each week to carefully 
monitor the healing process.
UPDATE 6/21/00 The big release of June 2000 meant moving day for the turtles left behind.  Pepper moved into his new digs, leaving his old tank for Charlie.
 Click here for a video clip.
UPDATE 8/20/00 Charlie receives good news.  Time to move outside to the pre-release area.  Moving closer to home after a long recuperation.
RELEASED 9/12/00 Photo minutes prior to release.
Click on image for short video clip of release.

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