Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sandy, the Hawksbill from St. Croix

This is a story with a happy ending, all things considered. A few weeks back, there was a story in the paper about an injured Hawksbill sea turtle found on a beach in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The 170-pound turtle had come up on the beach to lay her eggs and was attacked by feral dogs. She was rescued and transported to a St. Croix clinic. Her injuries were so severe that the US Fish and Wildlife folks in St. Croix contacted The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida, to see if the Hospital would undertake treatment and rehab. American Airlines flew "Sandy" to Miami at no charge, and The Turtle Hospital personnel transported her to Marathon. After examination and medication, she was allowed to rest/stabilize in a salt water tank for a couple of days, and then surgery was performed to amputate her right front flipper and repair damage done to her other flippers. At last report, she was back in her tank, alert and strong, and getting fluids, antibiotics, and vitamins daily.

What I love about this story (besides Sandy's survival, of course) is the number of people (and American Airlines) that went "above and beyond" to save this creature. If you are unfamiliar with The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, take a few minutes to wander through their website. This is a great tale of a modern sea turtle hospital housed in a former motel. The goal is to rehab Sandy and eventually return her to St. Croix. I'll follow the story and let you know what happens.

We don't get many of the endangered Hawksbill sea turtles in Brevard County, so we're grateful that Blair Witherington was willing to share his lovely photos. Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge - the closeup certainly shows where this turtle got its common name.

1 comment:

Robin Chapman said...

What a terrific story of conservation. More please!