Sea Turtle Edward Scissorhands Released Dec. 3
Published: Friday, December 11, 2020
Sea Turtle Hospital patient Edward Scissorhands returned to her ocean home on December 3, after one year of intensive and interesting care at the Sea Turtle Hospital. The staff worked closely with MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife and Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach for the release.
Edward Scissorhands was a social media favorite and captured the hearts of everyone who learned her unique story. She originally stranded locally in Salt Run on October of 2019. She was found floating and unable to dive. Upon arrival, staff noticed she was also FP positive. Edward’s initial exam radiographs revealed a lot of gas and build up in her GI tract. She was started on GI mobility medications, and staff closely monitored her for any defecation.
In less than 24 hours the Sea Turtle Hospital staff learned why Edward was so buoyant - plastic! Edward defecated hard plastic, soft plastic, latex, and sheet material. Dr. Burkhater and the rest of the staff intensively monitored Edward with daily radiographs, GI mobility medications, and fecal exams. She was fed an oily fish diet. After a little over a week Edward had successfully passed 78 pieces of plastic.
Once the plastic was passed, the team moved forward with routine care for FP-positive patients. From the diagnostic procedures they learned Edward was a female. They started tumor removal surgeries only to encounter another obstacle - Edward’s buoyancy had never completely resolved, probably because she had been full of plastic for some time.
They created weighted pouches and attached them to her carapace (shell). Weight was increased or decreased as necessary, to enable her to swim and rest normally. After months of gradually decreasing weights (two steps forward and one step back) she was able to rest comfortably on the bottom of her deep tank without any support.