To satellite tag a stranded sub-adult green sea turtle. The Turtle, MH 99-746-Cm has undergone extensive rehabilitationwith the New England Aquarium, Boston, Masachusetts, and is currently ready for release. To study the re-entry of this animal to assess the validity and effectiveness of the rehabilitation process.
MH-746-CM (Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas) stranded on November 8, 1999 on Kingsbury Beach in Eastham Massachusetts. This turtle presented with severe hypothermia and electrolyte problems. More critical was the severe carapace fracture that almost severed the bottom third of the carapace. While at the New England Aquarium (NEAq), the turtle under went a series of surgical procedures to debride and clean the wound for subsequent fixation of a hand made fiberglass cast to the shell. The NEAq Rescue and Rehabilitation staff worked with veterinarians from Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine to design, apply and track the condition of the fracture. The cast was later removed just shy of one year. The wound still needed time to heal, as did the sites where the cast was secured to the shell. The turtle continued rehabilitation at NEAq until early fall of 2001 when the animal hospital was slated to shut down for repair, in anticipation of the upcoming sea turtle stranding season. At that time she was transported to the Virginia Marine Science Museum (VMSM) for further care. The VMSM rescue staff and veterinarians feel that MH-99-746-CM is now ready for release.
The tag is a time depth recorder (TDR) and is being supplied courtesy of WhaleNet (http://www.whalenet.net). In exchange for the tag donation, the track of this turtle will be available to the general public on the WhaleNet web site at whale.wheelock.edu.
MH-99-746-CM has a straight carapace length of (notch to notch) 73 centimeters and currently weighs 56.8 kilograms. We do anticipate any problems with the tag relating with drag, lift or weight. The tag application will take place at the Virginia Marine Science Museum.
Releasing MH-99-746-CM as soon as the temperature allows. This animal has been in a rehabilitation and recovery setting for over 26 months. We plan to release this animal off the coast of Florida when the temperature is steady between 72-76 degrees. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been supportive of this project.