Ponce Inlet, FL – After two months of rehabilitation, a juvenile green sea turtle is ready to head back to the wild.
Officials at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet say they originally met Nutmeg two months ago after he became stranded on the beach in Wilbur-By-The-Sea.
A member of the Volusia Turtle Patrol was surveying nests on the beach nearby when Nutmeg was discovered in lethargic condition and rushed to MSC.
Turtle Rehabilitation Manager Melissa Ranly says Nutmeg’s body wasn’t covered in algae and barnacles like most stranded turtles.
“He did have a healing constriction-type wound to his right rear flipper that indicated he may have been entangled in fishing line or rope at some point,” Ranly added. “The turtle also had several scratches on the bottom side of his shell, so it is likely that he was sitting in very shallow water for a while and getting scratched up on the sand and rocks near the shore.”
Nutmeg now weighs 44 pounds and is scheduled for release at 2 p.m. today (December 4th) at the Beach Street Ramp in Ponce Inlet, which is north of the no-driving zone. The release is dependent on weather and surf conditions.
MSC has treated 105 sea turtles and 300 hatchlings and washbacks so far this year. That doesn’t include 132 other reptiles such as gopher tortoises, box turtles and freshwater turtles.