Hula is a juvenile Hawksbill sea turtle. This turtle was found on the beach covered in algae and barnacles. There were no obvious external injuries, but there was oil/tar inside the mouth. After a few days in our ICU, Hula began to pass an oily substance, as well as several large chunks of plastic.
October 2015 update: Hula is starting to eat on its own. It is still severely underweight and has problems diving. The turtle is receiving medication in our ICU.
December 2015 update: Hula has started to eat well twice daily but is still underweight for its size. Hula also still suffers from buoyancy problems that cause flotation as a symptom of the injuries. Small weights have been applied to her shell to help in diving. Hula continues to be monitored in our ICU, where it enjoys scratching its shell and hanging out on the PVC “back-scratcher”.
March 2016 update: Hula has been moved to her own tank! She is diving and all weights should be removed soon, but she still must be hand fed her seafood. Hula has a lot of co-ordination issues and she is unable to find the food. We are trying to teach her to follow the food. We are uncertain at this time what is causing her co-ordination issues. Hula continues to receive medication and we are hoping with time, she will make a full recovery.
April 2016 update: As of 4/9, Hula was diving for her own food! Let’s hope this progress continues!
June 2016 update: Hula is swimming, diving and eating wonderfully!
August 2016 update: Hula is very active and is still eating well, but we are still hoping to get a few more pounds on her before her release.
September 2016 update: Hula started re-emitting an oily substance. A fecal sample was examined by Dr. Tom at the Gladys Porter Zoo. Further meds to help clear Hula’s GI tract of the oily substance are being administered.
October 2016 update: Although Hula was swimming and diving well, and eating on her own, she was not gaining weight. In September she started re-emitting an oily substance. This prompted us to move her back into ICU where she is being administered a new regimen of medicines and antibiotics.
November 2016 update: Yay! Hula has been moved back to an outdoor rehabilitation tank. We switched Hula’s feeding to twice a day, and we think that is helping! Hula has gained 0.6 lbs, which is a 5% increase! She is now at 13.6 pounds.
December 2016 update: Hula is now at 15.3 pounds! That is a 3.3 pound increase since 10/29! Yahoo!
January 2017 update: Hula is now a whopping 17.2 pounds! Keep growing Hula! Oops..now as of 1/17, make it 17.5 pounds!
February 2017 update: “I’m so excited!” Hula is almost 19 pounds! That is an increase of 6.9 pounds since 10/29/16!
March 2017 update: Up to 20.7 pounds!
April 2017 update: Weighs in at 22.2 pounds! Anticipating an offshore release in June!
May 2017 update: Release date: June 12th, 2017! Hula will be taken to the ‘South Padre Island Underwater Park’ at the U.S./Mexico border, via the Coast Guard. After 2 years in rehabilitation, Hula is finally going back home.