Sea Turtle Pegasus Released

Sea Turtle Pegasus Released

Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Sea Turtle Hospital patient Pegasus returned to their ocean home on January 4 and had a private release at Ormond Beach, Florida. Sponsor families and friends were invited to attend.

Pegasus, our 66th patient of 2023, was found floating in a marina in Ponce Inlet on October 21, 2023. Our friends at Volusia Marina Science Center triaged this animal and found it had a PIT tag. We were able to learn this animal was an old patient of Volusia’s that originallystranded with a fresh vessel strike to the carapace. When Pegasus was originally in rehab at Volusia she/he did not present with Fibropapilloma (FP) tumors, but this time she did. Since Volusia does not care for FP patients, she was transferred to us. Pegasus has a few small tumors within the inguinal region and one concerning large tumor on the carapace margin. Pegasus is one of our heaviest patients currently in care. Pegasus was introduced into one of our rehabilitation tanks and was very buoyant. The main concern is that the vessel strike could have impacted the vertebral and/or intestinal tract. Complete x-rays concluded that the spine was intact.

Next up was a routine CT scan - Dr. Brooke was able to review the CT scan and confirmed that there was no defect from the old vessel strike and no internal tumors were noted! This means that he/she was cleared for surgery! Dr. Brooke was able to examine Pegasus for any internal FP tumors that could be hidden to the eye through the CT scans. We learned that Pegasus has no sign of internal tumors, but we also learned that Pegasus is a female! Pegasus then underwent her first tumor removal surgery! Surgery was successful and we were able to remove half of her tumors. In the following weeks we removed the last of Pegasus’ tumors and deemed her tumor free! 

Photo: Laura R.