Injured turtle recovers and heads back to sea

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Update September 14: The Post and Courier has a write-up and photos from the release.

Update September 13: The turtle has been released. Get a write-up over at ABC News 4.

Original post: The littlest sea turtle to come to the Turtle Hospital this year is going to be returned to the ocean on Saturday, September 6 13 (Thanks, Hanna), at 10:30 a.m at the Isle of Palms County Park (map).

Little Jetty, a juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, was rescued in June from the Charleston Harbor jetties after swallowing a hook.

A press release explains:
Little Jetty was reeled in by recreational fisherman at the Harbor jetties of Charleston on June 26, 2008. It was impossible for the fisherman to remove the swallowed fishing hook; as a result the turtle had to be brought directly to the Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital for care and treatment. Hospital staff rushed Little Jetty to the Birds and Exotics Veterinarian Clinic in Mt. Pleasant, SC where partner veterinarian Dr. Jose Biascochea, DVM was able to perform endoscopic surgery to remove the deeply embedded hook from the turtle’s esophagus.

Despite a successful surgery, the turtle experienced complications in recovering from the anesthesia and trauma and became unresponsive. Sea Turtle Rescue Program staff provided emergency care, resuscitating the turtle numerous times using a combination of oxygen and medications, before Little Jetty returned to a stable condition. Little Jetty is now eating well and deemed healthy.

Thanks to the Charleston Regional Business Journal for tipping us off.