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Caretta Hope

Georgia Sea Turtle Center - Monitoring of Rehabilitated Patients

A project of Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

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Species: Loggerhead
Life Stage: Sub-Adult
Gender: Female
Release Date: 2010-07-14 00:00:00
Release Location: Jekyll Island
Last Location: 2010-11-10 13:51:27


Caretta Hope is a subadult female loggerhead sea turtle who was found in the Matanza River in St. Johns County, Florida on June 11, 2009. Upon arrival, her packed cell volume (a measure of the amount of red blood cells present in the circulation) was 8% (normal being around 30%), and for a brief time she was put on Procrit. Procrit is a synthetic erythropoietin analogue. Erythropoietin is a hormone produced by the kidney that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Amazingly, this drug works in other species including turtles. It is used in human cancer patients to treat anemia. Physical examination revealed that Caretta Hope was missing most of both of her rear flippers. The injuries were old and already healed on the day of arrival. These injuries may have resulted from a shark bite or even fishing line wrapped around them that ultimately caused the loss of the limbs. Caretta Hope was named by our first sea turtle summer camp! Caretta Hope is now healthy and doing well. She is even healthy enough that we were able to determine her gender with a blood testosterone level and she is a female.

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