Zoo Miami sea turtle transferred to Loggerhead Marinelife Center

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Zoo Miami sea turtle transferred to Loggerhead Marinelife Center
“Baymax,” a massive female loggerhead sea turtle gets ready for her trip from Zoo Miami to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach.

“Baymax,” a massive female loggerhead sea turtle that had been recovering at Zoo Miami’s Sea Turtle Hospital, was transferred to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach on Monday, Sept. 26, to complete her rehabilitation.

The endangered sea turtle originally was transported by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center ambulance to Zoo Miami on May 22 after being recovered by FWC from the Inwater Research Group’s Port St. Lucie site. She had suffered what appeared to be a traumatic shark attack that resulted in the loss of the majority of her left front flipper leaving exposed bone. In addition to the severe injury to her flipper, there also were scars from an apparent previous boat strike.

Following several procedures and surgeries to amputate and treat what remained of the severely damaged front flipper, Baymax has been eating well and has been making positive progress. However, there appears to be an infection developing deep in the wound site that animal health staff is battling with a series of treatments.

Also, due to her extraordinary size, the recovery tanks at the Zoo Miami Sea Turtle Hospital were not allowing her to move as freely as the Animal Health team felt was best for her physical therapy. In addition to not being able to exercise effectively, Baymax was showing signs of arthritis in her front right flipper from her limited ability to utilize it to its fullest potential in the smaller tank.

In the best interest of Baymax, the decision was made to transfer her to Loggerhead Marinelife Center so that she can continue her rehabilitation in a larger tank that will provide the needed room for optimal physical therapy.

The Zoo Miami Animal Health team, led by Associate Veterinarian Dr. Marisa Bezjian, carefully loaded Baymax into a transport van and made the journey north to Juno Beach.

Upon arrival, Dr. Bezjian, along with Zoo Miami Hospital manager Rosemay Lucas, were met by Loggerhead Marinelife Center veterinarian Dr. Heather Barron, president and CEO Andy Dehart and their support team to unload Baymax and perform a preliminary exam.
She received a Regional Limb Perfusion, a novel treatment not previously described in sea turtles that included antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. She now is showing excellent range of motion in her right front flipper, a great indication that treatment already is making her more comfortable.

Baymax is scheduled for additional surgery this week at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in an effort to assess and treat the apparent infection deep within the original wound site.

It is hoped that Baymax will continue her positive recovery and eventually be released back to the wild.

To see more #Miaminews from #Aventura to #Coralgables to #SouthMiami, #Pinecrest, #Palmetto Bay and #Cutler Bay and all throughout #Miamidadecounty go to:

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