Three loggerhead sea turtles rescued in Beaufort County within a span of days recently are recovering at the Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston.
Skully, who was rescued June 18, and Pluff and Miss Royal, who were rescued June 20, are still sick, Sea Turtle Rescue Program manager Kelly Thorvalson said. They are receiving vitamins, antibiotics and other treatment.
Sea Turtle Stranding Network volunteers Janie Lackman and Mallory Dailey rescued Skully, who has not yet reached maturity, from a sandbar in Skull Creek Inlet off Fripp Island. The turtle is still lethargic, Thorvalson said, but has started eating.
She was given a 24-hour, freshwater bath to kill leeches that were inside an old, deep shell wound. Thorvalson said she believes that injury is the root of Skully's problems, but she is not sure what caused it.
Pluff, another young loggerhead, was named after the marsh mud in which it was ensnared when discovered on Hilton Head Island.
Pluff is anemic and has the lowest blood protein level the hospital has recorded, according to the hospital's blog.
Miss Royal, a 215-pound adult, was rescued off the Beaufort County shore by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in-water research program and brought into Port Royal.
Miss Royal has two boat-strike injuries -- one on her shell and one on her right, rear flipper -- that could cause significant problems over time.
It costs the Sea Turtle Hospital about $10,000 a year to feed the turtles it cares for. A fundraiser is planned for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Fat Patties in Port Royal to help offset those costs for Skully. Ten percent of the restaurant's sales will go to the cause.
Lackman said Thorvalson plans to attend so people to answer questions about Skully, the other turtles and the hospital.
"Really, I just can't highlight enough the wonderful work they do in Charleston for our turtles," Lackman said. "They have a wonderful staff and I don't think enough people here know about it."
Nine turtles have been admitted to the hospital over a one-month span, which Thorvalson said is very unusual. Three -- including Pluff and Miss Royal -- were admitted on the same day, which Thorvalson said she cannot recall happening before.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.