Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Lab Releases Mudpie on July 13, 2016

Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Lab Releases Mudpie on July 13, 2016

Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The University of Florida Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Laboratory is pleased to announce that it released Mudpie, a green juvenile sea turtle, on July 13, 2016, in Salt Run at Lighthouse Park in St. Augustine. A crowd of people attended the event to wish Mudpie farewell and good luck.

On March 22, 2016, Mudpie was found floating and disoriented at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. Once at the hospital, the staff removed about four pounds of epitioba – barnacles, sea squirts and other animals that live on a turtle’s shell – along with marsh mud from Mudpie’s carapace or top shell. Mudpie was also underweight, dehydrated, had a low red cell count, and had fibropapillomatosis tumors. Fibropapillomatosis is a mysterious disease that creates internal and external tumors on the sea turtle that inhibit normal functioning.

Mudpie was treated at the hospital with antibiotics, fluid therapy, good nutrition and clean water. After a month of care, Mudpie was ready for surgery to remove the fibropapillomatosis tumors. Then, one month after surgery, Mudpie was completely healed. The big day came for Mudpie to be released to his/her home environment.

The Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Lab opened to provide rehabilitation, education and research for sea turtle conservation in Northeast Florida. The hospital rehabilitates debilitated and injured sea turtles, and, once healthy and cleared by the veterinarian, releases them back to their habitat. The hospital also researches fibropapilloma disease, which is increasingly impacting sea turtles in Northeast Florida waters.