ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – Three turtles from the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island received CT scans at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center on May 3 and 17.
The CT (Computed Tomography) scans where requested by the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center at the aquarium for one loggerhead turtle with a head wound and two green sea turtles that had been diagnosed with cold-stunning.
“We are excited for the opportunity to assist in the great work of the North Carolina Aquarium,” said Heidi Ambrose, Director of Patient Care Services and Director of Diagnostic Imaging at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center. “We love welcoming these unique patients to the hospital and providing a service that may help them get back to the wild after recovery.”
Once the images are processed, NC Aquarium veterinarians will be better able to develop a treatment plan specifically for the ailments these turtles have received. This allows for a faster recovery time and overall better outlook for the sea turtles, according to the aquarium.
“We are so fortunate to have an organization like Sentara available to provide this procedure,” said STAR Center Manager Amber White. “The CT technology is a huge asset in the continued treatment of these turtles.”
The aquarium’s STAR Center, operated in partnership with the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST), rehabilitates turtles that have been injured and sick.
While at one point, the STAR Center had over 200 turtles that had been cold-stunned over the winter, they currently only have 13 hold outs that are being helped.
The goal of the center is to fully reintroduce these animals back into the sea.