Veterinarian Uses Common Household Items to Repair Rescued Sea Turtle’s Carapace (shell)

September 18, 2014 (Orlando, Fla.) – Earlier this week, SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team received a juvenile green sea turtle that was found with a large wound to its carapace. The sea turtle was rescued by the University of Central Florida (UCF) Marine Turtle Research Group in the Trident Basin at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and brought to SeaWorld Orlando for care and rehabilitation. The five pound green sea turtle was found with a large wound to its carapace (the shell of the sea turtle), most likely from a boat strike.

Upon arrival at SeaWorld Orlando, the sea turtle was taken directly into the surgery room where radiographs were taken, blood drawn and a full veterinarian examination administered. Following the examination, the sea turtle received antibiotics, fluid therapy and cleaning of the wound. The shell fracture was noted as older and had obvious contamination requiring debriding of the wound, removal of old, dead tissue to help eliminate infection and speed up healing.

After the wound was fully cleaned, SeaWorld’s senior veterinarian, Dr. Lara Croft, covered it with a variation of a honey bandage.  She chose to use raw honey for this open wound because of its natural antibacterial properties, and because it is osmotically dense, it helps remove dirt, debris, and dead tissue from contaminated wounds.  After the honey bandage was applied, a diaper rash ointment was placed on top to waterproof the wound, allowing the turtle to be able to swim right away.

So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 36 sea turtles. In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the waters.

To report someone disturbing a sea turtle nest or an injured, dead or harassed sea turtle call 888-404-3922 or dial  *FWC on a cellular device.

For more than 40 years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need — ill, injured and orphaned.  More than 23,000 animals have been rescued by our experts.‪ SeaWorld’s animal rescue team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Learn more about our passion for conservation and animal welfare at SeaWorldCares.com.