Injured Sea Turtle Has Successful Surgery

Nick the Sea Turtle.
Nick the Sea Turtle.

Being rescued was lucky enough, but now Nick, an injured Sea Turtle who's living at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, is recovering from this morning's surgery (see Injured Sea Turtle Fights for His Life).

Doctors repaired a severe head wound Nick received when he was hit by a skeg of an outboard motor.  Department of Natural Resources agents found him washed up on the shores of Cumberland Island and brought him to the Sea Turtle Center (see Sea Turtle Center Opens This Weekend).

Dr. J. Melvin Deese and veterinarian Dr. Terry Norton operated on Nick early this morning, thoroughly cleaning the wound and inserting several screws.

"It was a very successful surgery," said director of the center Dr. Bill Irwin in a telephone interview.

The screws in Nick's skull are attached to an external fixation device that will allow Nick's head injury to heal. Over the next six to eight weeks, the screws in Nick's head will be slowly tightened at a rate of 1mm a day. This will help bring the seperated bones in Nick's skull back together.

Dr. Irwin says Nick is doing well, breathing on his own and seems to be recovering fine.

If you want to keep up with Nick's recovery, visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center blog at

Reported by: Sarah Schuster,