Kelly Thorvalson is the manager of The Sea Turtle Rescue Program in Charleston, South Carolina. She cannot believe that the wildlife officials were able to rescue the leatherback sea turtle. The wildlife officials saw the sea turtle on Yawkey-Island Reserve on Saturday March 7, 2015. Yawkey-Island Reserve is located in Georgetown, South Carolina.
“I can hardly believe it. They don’t strand alive very often,” said Kelly Thorvalson, manager of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.
It took wildlife officials almost four hours to rescue the sea turtle. They then drove the reptile 1.5 hours to Charleston. Kelly Thorvalson says that they had to use a stretcher to lift the turtle. She also stated that the turtle was very lethargic and sickly.
Leatherbacks are the biggest turtles in the world. They can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Additionally, the leatherback is the only type of sea turtle that does not have a hard shell. The wildlife officials stated that the leatherback sea turtle they found is a female. They also believe that the turtle may have eaten a plastic bag, shell or debris.
The aquarium staff members have named the turtle Yawkey. They are treating the turtle for an intestinal blockage and low blood sugar. The turtle has been given fluids, and its health is improving. The animal will be released back into the wild after it is well. Leatherbacks do not do well in captivity, which is why the staff members will not leave the reptile at the aquarium.