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St Croix Rescued female Hawksbill sea turtle taken to Coral World for rehabilitation

A critically endangered 120 pound Hawksbill sea turtle was rescued from Shoy’s Beach, St. Croix on Thursday, October 11. The preliminary examination conducted by Dr. Michelle Mehalick at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center, indicated the turtle sustained an injury to the right rear flipper and appeared very lethargic.


On Saturday, October 13, the turtle was transported via ferry to St. Thomas by National Park Service interns with the help of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Our Vet Tech, Erica Palmer, met them at the dock and immediately went into action administering antibiotics and fluids. This very old Hawksbill was diagnosed with pneumonia and a broken flipper, among a few other things. After her evaluation, she was placed in a holding tank here at Coral World where she is constantly monitored and cared for.

Animals do not typically strand themselves unless they are very sick, so prognosis on a stranded turtle is unfortunately poor. On occasion, euthanasia may be the best option. Caring for these very debilitated animals is labor intensive and emotionally draining but the Coral World “A” team will do everything in their power to nurse her back to health and release her back to the wild.

Coral World takes great pride in the care that all our animals are given and the same holds true for any animal we rescue. Our animal care team, vet tech and interns all have a very high standard of care and amazing dedication to each and every animal.

It takes a village! Huge thanks to Dr. Michelle Mehalick, the interns at the St. Croix National Park Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Captain Miles, the QE IV Ferry staff and our CT hero

Dr. Rosenberg at St. Thomas Radiology, for making it all happen.

We’re hoping for a speedy recovery for this gal.

Please remember that sea turtles are federally protected. If you should come in contact with one, please contact Coral World, NPS, USFWS, STAR Network or VIDPNR.