Posts Tagged 'loggerhead turtle'

Join Us in Welcoming Brownie, our Loggerhead Turtle, to Baltimore!

Earlier today, our Baltimore facility welcomed loggerhead turtle, Brownie, from Washington, DC! Brownie’s transport, in addition to the 17 other animals that successfully made their way to our Animal Care Center, marked the 12th day of animal moves from our DC facility to the Aquarium’s main campus in Baltimore.

loggerhead turtle transport national aquarium

After transport and a brief observation period, Brownie was introduced into our Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit!

About Brownie: 

Named for it’s sweet personality and love of food, Brownie is part of the Loggerhead Head Start Program. Run by the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll, this program gives baby sea turtles a better chance at survival in the wild. Sea turtle hatchlings spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow. After being given a clean bill of health and an extra boost of nutrition, they are tagged and released back to the ocean!

Once Brownie meets the proper weight/size criteria, it will be taken back to North Carolina to be released.

Animal Rescue Update: Loggerhead Patients Ready for Release!

national aquarium Animal Rescue Update

It is a bittersweet, yet exciting time of year for the remaining patients at our rehabilitation center.  Our remaining two loggerheads have passed their exit exams with flying colors and will be commuting to the warmer waters of southern Virginia for their release on the 21st of October!

As you may remember, Rooney, one of the first cold-stunned turtles of the 2013 year, has actually been with us since December 23, 2012.

national aquarium loggerhead

Husbandry staff and veterinarians had started treating a chronic abscess that Rooney developed with honey, but quickly realized that the abscess needed to be removed all together.  On June 27th and September 18th, a soft tissue surgeon came in to assist our veterinarians with the abscess removal.

As you can imagine, being sedated for exams and surgeries is a very different experience from what these animals encounter in the wild, so we are very anxious to get Rooney back into his natural habitat where he can swim freely and forage for his favorite foods like blue crabs and squid.  While in rehabilitation with the National Aquarium, Rooney gained 19.3 pounds, and is currently consuming a diet of blue crabs, squid, shrimp and lean fish!

Our second loggerhead, Portsmouth, was transferred to our facility in August.

national aquarium loggerhead

On August 28th, veterinary staff was assisted by a specialist for an endoscopy procedure to remove the last of two hooks he had ingested.  The hook removal was a complete success, and staff starting including more foods into Portsmouth diet, like blue crabs. While in rehabilitation, Portsmouth gained 6.6 pounds!

Husbandry staff are working with the Virginia Aquarium now to get plans for the release into place. Stay tuned for more news and photos from their release! 

national aquarium animal rescue expert

Animal Rescue Update: Two Hooks Successfully Released From Loggerhead Patient!

Animal Rescue Update

Our team recently admitted two loggerheads from Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. One of the turtles, named Portsmouth, had ingested a recreational fishing hook and had to undergo surgery to remove the hook from his esophagus. We successfully removed the primary hook, but was surprised to find a second hook near the same location. The second hook was older, and more deteriorated, so they could only safely remove a portion of the hook that was visible.

loggerhead sea turtle

Animal Health staff at the National Aquarium performed a full physical exam on Portsmouth when he was transferred to our care, including radiographs (x-rays) to assess the location of the remaining hook. While radiographs are extremely helpful as a diagnostic tool, they can only provide a one-dimensional view. Our veterinary staff determined that a Computed Tomography (CT) scan would be a very helpful diagnostic for Portsmouth’s condition. A CT scan is a medical imaging procedure that essentially x-rays a body (or area of a body) around a central axis and produces a large volume of x-ray image ‘slices’ of the body – similar to slicing a loaf of bread. With the help of computer software, the image ‘slices’ can be compiled and manipulated into 3-dimensional images of structures.

Performing a CT scan on a large sea turtle like Portsmouth can be challenging, but the process is very quick (only a few seconds) and is not invasive. In fact, the most challenging part of the process was convincing Portsmouth to leave his watery world for the short trip. Portsmouth was cooperative during the approximately 30-second imaging process, and our veterinarians were able to consult with the radiologists on site about the possibilities of the hooks positioning.

On August 28, 2013, our veterinarians teamed up with Dr. Adam Gonzales, DVM from the Atlantic Veterinary Internal Medicine & Oncology for an endoscopy procedure in hopes of extracting the remainder of the second hook as seen on the x-rays and CT scans. While Portsmouth did have to be sedated for this procedure, the hook itself was fairly easy to remove as it was simply lying among the papillae. Papillae are keratinized projections within the throat which point inward towards the stomach. They are presumed to trap food while excess water is expelled prior to swallowing.

In just a few hours, Portsmouth was back to swimming in his pool, and had worked up quite the appetite – blue crabs, watch out!

Blog-Header-JennDittmar

#SeaTurtleTrek Update – And They’re Off!

The team from New England Aquarium arrived in Baltimore this evening ready to pick up our rehabilitated sea turtles and journey onto Florida for release!

Chet, a Kemp's ridley turtle, is ready to go on his adventure!

Chet, a Kemp’s ridley turtle, is ready to go on his adventure!

As we continue to travel down the East Coast, more turtles from our organization partners are being slated for release! Our teams will be making additional stops at Virginia Aquarium and South Carolina Aquarium to pick up additional turtles.

Members of our MARP team prepping Biff, a green sea turtle, for the trip!

Members of our MARP team prepping Biff, a green sea turtle, for the trip!

Prior to New England’s arrival, our Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) team did final examinations of each turtle, placed them in their respective transport crates and covered them in a water-based lubricant to keep the turtles happy and feeling good during the 1,200 mile trek down to Jacksonville, Florida.

Once the crew from New England Aquarium arrived, our team quickly packed up the turtles and hit the road!

Once the crew from New England Aquarium arrived, our team quickly packed up the turtles and hit the road!

Want to see where the team is on their journey? Follow their live updates on Twitter, Google Plus, Tumblr and Instagram using #SeaTurtleTrek  and/or check out this satellite map that’s tracking their progress:

Click on this map to pull up the trek's current geo-location!

Click on this map to pull up the trek’s current geo-location!

Stay tuned for more #SeaTurtleTrek updates from the road! 

Amazing Experience Sweepstakes Winners Meet Our Loggerhead!

In December of 2012, as part of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes, Darren Brooks from Williamsburg, Virginia won the chance to go behind-the-scenes and meet our baby loggerhead turtle at National Aquarium, Washington, DC!

Meet our baby loggerhead turtle, Brownie!

Our baby loggerhead turtle!

Recently, Darren and his family came on-site to meet our loggerhead, learn a bit more about the species and give the little one a name! After observing our baby sea turtle on exhibit, everyone went behind-the-scenes to actually meet the turtle and learn a bit more about him from our Aquarist Dana. Darren and his fiancee Denise decided to name the loggerhead ‘Brownie,’ after it’s sweet personality and love of food!

During their meet and greet with Brownie, Darren and his family also had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about our participation in the Loggerhead Head Start Program. Run by the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll, this program gives baby sea turtles a better chance at survival in the wild. Sea turtle hatchlings found stranded far from the ocean, spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow. After being given a clean bill of health and an extra boost of nutrition, they are tagged and released back to the ocean!

Brownie will spend two years at National Aquarium and then released off the coast of North Carolina!

Stay tuned for more stories on our Amazing Experience Sweepstakes winners!


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