Saving Tabitha

Life saving Medications for Tabitha

Tabitha is a wild Loggerhead Sea Turtle that was found floating at the surface and unable to dive to escape approaching boats.  Tabitha is a 20-24 year old threatened species of Sea Turtle that weighs 140 pounds. She was discovered in Ocean City, NJ on June 27th 2019 where she was rescued from the bay and transported to Sea Turtle Recovery's (STR) hospital for care.

Diagnostics revealed that air was trapped in Tabitha’s body cavity (causing the positive buoyancy), her left lung was compressed by the air and showed signs of pneumonia/infection, she had a partial intestinal blockage, and was anemic.


  Sea Turtle Recovery's veterinary team surgically removed over 9 liters (2.4 gallons) of air from her body cavity. Her buoyancy control is now improving and recent x-rays also showed improvements in her lung tissue.

Overall, Tabitha is making great progress in her recovery. She is now active and inquisitive, spending her days sleeping and hunting. Currently, the most significant threat is severe anemia. Our veterinarians would like to start Tabitha on a medication to help boost her red cell production. However, the challenge we face is the cost of the medication. A single dose for Tabitha will cost more than $155.

 Saving Tabitha is supported in part by a grant from the Ian Somerhalder Foundation who graciously jumpstarted our efforts with a grant. This grant enables Sea Turtle Recovery to purchase the initial doses of medication.  Now we need your help to continue Tabitha’s live saving treatments!

 Loggerhead sea turtles are listed as threatened regionally and endangered globally. They reach maturity around 25 years of age meaning Tabitha is a subadult that is almost ready to reproduce. With only 1 in 10,000 sea turtle hatchlings surviving to adulthood, Tabitha has already overcome tremendous odds. It is important to help her continue her fight to soon begin contributing to her population's survival.  Please donate today to help get Tabitha back to her ocean home!

Sea Turtle Recovery Is New Jersey's Only Long Term Rehabilitation Center For Sea Turtles.

 Sea Turtle Recovery, STR, is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of sea turtles and educating the public on the important ecological role of sea turtles, threats endangering them, and ways to protect their future.  The Sea Turtle Recovery is an independent nonprofit located inside Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. STR provides staffing, food, medicine, surgeries and other treatments to sick and injured sea turtles until they can be released back into the ocean.  Sea Turtle Recovery also performs outreach throughout the state to raise awareness about sea turtles.

 Sea Turtle Recovery opened its hospital in December 2016. Prior to STR opening, New Jersey’s sea turtles that were in need of rehabilitation and medical care had to be transferred to hospitals in other states. This left critical patients needing to be transferred as far as North Carolina for long term treatment. To date Sea Turtle Recovery has released 41 healthy sea turtles back to their ocean home.

More about the nonprofit Sea Turtle Recovery, their efforts, and how to donate to the sea turtles’ care can be found by visiting .

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All proceeds go to Sea Turtle Recovery, Inc to purchase medication (s) to treat Tabitha. Any funds remaining after Tabitha’s treatments will help other sea turtles in need in Sea Turtle Recovery’s hospital.

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Bill Deerr 
West Orange, NJ
Sea Turtle Recovery, Inc. 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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