Buddy the Elf's Story

Cold Stunned

Buddy the Elf is a juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle that was in need of treatment after becoming cold stunned in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Sea turtles cannot regulate their own body temperatures, thus they are closely related to the surrounding water’s temperature. Prolonged exposure to cold water conditions commonly effect a sea turtle’s immune system, circulation, and organ function and often lead to secondary complications like pneumonia, infection, and skin damage. As afflicted sea turtles become inactive and float at the surface, they’re also exposed to the cold air which can lead to a worsened condition and even drowning. Buddy the Elf was closely monitored and received special care for pneumonia, sepsis, and cold stunning at the sea turtle rehabilitation facility. This patient has since made a full recovery and was released back into the wild February 2023.

Patient Information
Intake Photo

Name: Buddy the Elf
Species: Kemp’s Ridley (Lk)
Age class: Juvenile
Admission date: 12/18/22
Ailment: Cold Stunned, Pneumonia
Weight: 2.10 kg


12/18/22: Admitted into rehab. Veterinary exam, x-rays, and blood drawn.

12/19/22: Begin a supportive care regiment and daily nebulizer treatments.

12/30/22: Patient is active and eating!

1/4/23: X-Ray’s retaken, bloodwork and culture re-evaluated. Begin treatment for sepsis and continue to monitor closely.

1/9/23: Stop daily nebulizing treatments and continue supportive care routine.

2/7/23: Off all medications.

2/21/23: Tagged and released in Cape Canaveral, FL.