WATCH: Severely Injured Sea Turtle Guacamole Moved to ‘Deluxe Suite’ at Brevard Zoo
By Space Coast Daily // June 21, 2018
admitted on Feb 24 with devastating attack injuries
ABOVE VIDEO: Injured sea turtle “Guacamole” was moved this week to the “Deluxe Suite” at the Brevard Zoo.
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – “Guacamole” was admitted to the Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center in February after she was found on the beach at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach with old predator attack wounds.
This 200-pound adult female was missing most of her right front flipper and had lacerations to her left front flipper, head, neck, and carapace, which is the upper shell.
Guacamole’s injuries were significant and she was placed on a feeding tube in early March. Her wounds were flushed, medicated and packed with bandages and honey every three days.
She needed to be treated with extra special care as tests showed she was also suffering from a parasite infection that can greatly affect a turtle’s appetite and cause neurological issues if left untreated.
Guacamole remained on a feeding tube throughout March and nearly all of April. However, she was gaining weight and weighed 215-pounds one month after being admitted.
The process was slow but she began to eat algae and squid from tongs as her wounds healed. By the very end of April Guacamole was seen actively searching for and consuming food on her own from the bottom of the tank.
Eating on her own wasn’t a daily process at this point but it was exciting for the caregivers to see nonetheless. By May 7 it was reported that she was eating on her own.
The May 12 “patient” report said, “Guacamole is doing fantastic and is eating squid, algae, lettuce, and seagrass on her own. We raised the water level in her tank so she has to swim around using her flippers more and she is loving the challenge. Her flipper wounds are healing so well, we have stopped treating the left front flipper wound and are just wrapping it for stability.”
By the end of May, her weight had climbed to 219-pounds and on Tuesday she was moved to the bigger tank which you can see in the video above.
Click here for Guacamole’s continuous patient report.
Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center opened its 2,400-square-foot operation in April 2014 and includes two separate holding facilities with a total of 12 tanks ranging in size from six to 20 feet.
Patients are brought to the Center for a variety of reasons—they may be recovering from a boat strike, interaction with human debris such as fishing line or plastic, or debilitation.
In addition to providing much-needed rest, experienced staff and dedicated volunteers use a combination of medication, surgeries, and nutritious food to nurse the turtles back to health and, ideally, return them to the ocean, which is the hope for Guacamole.
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