Olympian, a green sea turtle, was spotted floating off the coast of New Jersey on August 13, 2012. After being brought in, the New Jersey Marine Mammal Stranding Center realized that Olympian was suffering from a severe case of edema. The edema initially decreased during the first 24 hours of rehabilitation, but Olympian continued to display buoyancy problems. The decision was made to transfer care to the Marine Animal Rescue Program's long-term care facility at the National Aquarium.
Upon arrival, Marine Animal Rescue staff and veterinarians quickly established a solid diet and exam routine for Olympian. Weekly exams included radiographs, blood tests, and even a CT scan. These tests helped our veterinarians determine that Olympian had hyper-inflated lungs, which may have attributed to his difficulty with diving. This buoyancy problem seemed to be healing itself, so our staff simply monitored his behavior, diet, and health. One morning, as a staff member was preparing to feed the turtles, they were surprised to see Olympian resting on the very bottom of the pool. This was a great discovery, and Olympian has been diving and swimming after food ever since.
Olympian was transported to South Carolina Aquarium (SCA) and then released by vessel on October 19, 2012. In addition to Olympian, turtles from SCA and a turtle from New England Aquarium were also released.
Prior to release, Olympian was outfitted with a small satellite transmitter that allows us to track the location and speed of the turtle.
These tags help researchers learn more about sea turtle migration and travel patterns. The information will be gathered until the adhesive fails and the tag falls off. Learn more about the importance of animal tracking here.
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