Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tough Mudder: Tough Turtles and Elasmo Mutters

This is a post from a team of Aquarium staff and supporters who are participating in an extreme obstacle course event called the Tough Mudder this spring. They have been posting about their training methods, animals that inspire them to work hard and they will be raising funds to support the Aquarium. You can help them out by donating to support their efforts.

Today's post comes from Deb Bobek, Director of Visitor Experience for the Aquarium. You may remember her by her Team Tiburon alter ego Flame.

Anyone who is a regular follower of Aquarium blogs knows that we have an active Rescue and Rehabilitation program for sea turtles and other marine animals. (Check out the Rescue Blog here.) Each late fall and early winter, anywhere between 20 to more than 100 sea turtles strand along Cape Cod beaches, found suffering from hypothermia, and often dehydration and pneumonia. 

Four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles rescued by the New England Aquarium in a rehabilitation tank

Now, Team Tiburon was willing to risk hypothermia to take on the Tough Mudder challenge, but we didn’t expect to have something else in common with these sea turtles. Sadly, many of the stranded sea turtles come in with various injuries – and injuries have plagued our team as well. Chrys has been suffering a sore tentacle (okay fine, knee) and like the invasive species he is, Lion has faced a multitude of aches and strains.

Some of the most serious injuries that the sea turtles arrive with are broken bones or broken shells. And one of Team Tiburon’s members has experienced something similar. That’s right, Elasmo, our fearless originator of Team Tiburon, has suffered a stress fracture of his left tibia leaving him unable to compete in this Saturday’s Tough Mudder challenge.

(L) Photos of a rescued Kemp’s ridley sea turtle named Route showing both a broken flipper and shell at a follow-up exam in 2009 (R) X-ray of Elasmo’s tibia

But fear not Team Tiburon followers!  Just as our rescued sea turtles can be treated and rehabilitated, so too will Elasmo follow a treatment and rehabilitation program and then Team Tiburon will reunite to do a second Tough Mudder challenge in July with Elasmo leading the charge!

Top: Route with a metal bar holding his bone in place and wires holding his shell together 
Bottom: Elasmo’s air cast

We hope to keep you updated as Elasmo completes his rehabilitation and we get ready for a second Tough Mudder challenge, but in the meantime the rest of Team Tiburon: Cuddle, Lion, Flame, Chrys, Mudskipper, and Hawk will participate in this weekend’s Tough Mudder challenge with Elasmo cheering us on. So wish us luck and remember – your support can help fund our new Giant Ocean Tank where many rescued sea turtles (like our loggerhead turtles Carolina and Retread) make their home.  So make your donation today!

A happy ending for Route as he is released back into the ocean in May of 2009. We expect a full recovery from Elasmo as well!

~ Flame

Please contribute to their fundraising efforts for the New England Aquarium and share this post to spread the word. Catch up on previous posts here.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I have a boot just like that.
    It great seeing these turtles doing good.
    Good to see people working had for animals.


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