Chelsea the Loggerhead was found floating off of Big Pine Key, FL on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013, by a man named Burt and his daughter. The two decided to name the turtle Chelsea because sea turtles are of the family 'Cheloniidae' and the turtle was found in the sea.
Staff was extremely worried because it became clear this turtle was in critical condition. A main value we use to determine health is the packed cell volume, or PCV, which is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. In healthy turtles it should be 20-35% but in Chelsea's case it was just 1%--the lowest we've ever seen! She had likely been floating for weeks, her shell was matted in brown algae appearing like fur growing from her shell. While floating for so long, her head constantly rubbed on her shell. The skin had completely worn away leaving just the skull bone. By cleaning and using our favorite natural topical ointment, honey, the wound quickly closed up. Chelsea continued to float so we provided antibiotics and even Beano. After just over a month she was able to dive and rest on the bottom of her tank. Her blood levels became normal and she had put on some weight--we knew she was ready to go back out.
Chelsea had staff amazed at her quick progress and short stay of just 2 months. We were happy to share her release with a huge crowd at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys on July 13, 2013.