Turtle hospital welcomes NTOB (New Turtle on the Block)

Hyde II

Hyde II is recuperating at the turtle hospital after being found stranded in Hyde County near the Ocracoke ramp.

Submitted photo
Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 14:11 PM.

There’s no hiding the fact that there’s a new guy in town, and his name is (ironically) “Hyde.” And for once we naively thought that there would be no agonizing over a name: He was rescued in Hyde County. But (there’s always a but) after reviewing the index of the almost 400 patients who have come through our doors we had to amend his official moniker to “Hyde II.”

Hyde stranded on the beach about one-half mile south of the Ocracoke ramp, and travelled by ferry to Cedar Island. (Another first for one of our patients, medi-vacced courtesy of our NC Ferry System.) From there he was taken to CMAST in Morehead City for his initial evaluation and treatment protocol. Although he was very lethargic, with a heart rate of 4 bpm, there were no obvious injuries. For you mathletes (older folks get out your slide-rules!) his temperature was 9.2˚C and he weighed 95.4 kg. Translation: he was cold and big.

Hyde took up residence in Sea Turtle Bay where he will remain under quarantine for the regulation sixty days, getting daily baths and restorative treatments for his carapace. Because he was regurgitating fluid he will continue his course of antibiotics to hopefully prevent pneumonia.

So what happened to Mr. Hyde, and why does he have those strange looking striations on each side of his carapace? Technically he’s a cold-stun, but he obviously hadn’t been in that condition for a long time or he would have already moved into our “Barnacle Bill” category. He has pretty good muscle mass and the three pounds of fish and squid we feed him every day should allow him to quickly regain what weight he may have lost. We’re speculating that the nor’easter we had a month or so back may have been strong enough to push him out of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and into much colder conditions where he began to chill out, and not in a good way.

More mysterious is how he got the symmetrical striation marks that follow the curve of his carapace. They’re not deep, but they are obviously there. The boys have been known to fight during mating season, and those ginormous claws on an adult’s flippers can do a lot of damage. It could have happened that way, but when we ask Hyde about it he gets this inscrutable expression on his face and declines comment. We’ll never really know, but it’s fun to run through the gamut of possible reasons. Maybe there’s a Dr. Jekyll side we have yet to discover.

Come celebrate “Big April’s” big day

Mark your calendars for April 19 when we celebrate “Big April’s Re-Birthday.” April was found on Wrightsville Beach one year ago, near death. In fact people walked by her remarking “poor turtle” because they were pretty sure she was already gone. Luckily she was able to use what little strength she had left to open one eye and ask a passerby for help. You should see her now, really. And you can when we open our doors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 19. Join us in singing Happy Birthday, sign her card and then enjoy some of her cake. She promises that it’s “human-friendly and squid-free.” She’s hoping she can top the almost 600 visitors who came to “Padi’s Day” in March.



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