Four Spot [1992 Turtle 22]

Fetches an 69K JPEG

That was then (inset, 1992) and this is the last time we saw her (1995).

Quickstats: Seen Seen 1992, 1995. Summer updates: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.

We first met Four Spot in 1992. She carries the permanent ID 1992 Turtle 22, meaning she was the 22nd turtle sighted that summer. Four Spot was a youngster--a small juvenile who acclimated easily to our presence.

Once sighted, she was almost a daily visitor to the Turtle House. She got her name from the four white spots near the rear of her carapace. We knew that these markings aren't permanent and often change from summer to summer, but that was the easy way to identify Four Spot in 1992, and the name stuck. Our records indicate she was an active, healthy turtle.

We didn't see Four Spot in either 1993 and 1994. We assumed she was one of the small number of one season transients we've observed. Then, in the summer of 1995, we noticed a juvenile arrive at the Turtle House for cleaning. She hovered, apparently trying to attract cleaners. She had one of the worst cases of tumors we had seen up to that point, so we were keen to photograph this animal.

We did not immediately recognize her. In fact, only after we received our photos from processing and could match profiles did we realize we knew this youngster. The creature so badly tumored and lethargic was in fact Four Spot, who had been healthy in 1992!

We were astonished that this turtle could go so quickly downhill in three years. We went back and studied her 1992 video profile, looking for clues. With the benefit of hindsight, we now believe that we can pick out a hint of something white happening in the rear of her right eye. We can't be certain.

We do know that she has a massive tumor infestation now. Four Spot joins several other juveniles at Honokowai reef who developed tumors within 2-5 years of being sighted in the area. We do expect to see her in 1996, but we anticipate she will be emaciated and more tumor than turtle. If the disease follows the pattern we've been seeing, she will join our growing list of "missing" in 1997.

Summer 1996 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 1996. We believe Four Spot is dead.

Summer 1997 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 1997.

Summer 1998 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 1998.

Summer 1999 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 1999.

Summer 2000 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 2000.

Summer 2001 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 2001.

Summer 2002 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 2002.

Summer 2003 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 2003.

Summer 2004 Update

Four Spot was not seen in 2004.

Barney [1992 Turtle 26b]
Who's Who Underwater at Honokowai
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Last modified 04/09/11
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