Ponce Inlet, FL – After 4 months of rehab a young sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle will return to the ocean on Tuesday.
Sanibel has been at the Marine Science Center since July 10, when local beach-goers found the turtle stranded on the beach in Ormond-by-the-Sea. The 66-pound sea turtle was brought to the Marine Science Center for treatment.
The reptile’s immune system was compromised, it was anemic, and it was underweight. Sanibel was also suffering from intestinal parasites. Treatment included antibiotics to prevent infection, iron and vitamin injections, fluids with electrolytes, and an anti-parasitic. The turtle was also put on a highly nutritious diet which included live blue crabs to simulate foraging behavior.
Since arriving at the Marine Science Center, Sanibel has gained 14 lbs.
“We are thrilled to be able to aid in the recovery and return of an internationally endangered sea turtle,” said Turtle Rehabilitation Manager Melissa Ranly. “Every sea turtle we are able to return to the ocean has the
opportunity to become a part of the breeding population and conserve their species for future generations.”
Sanibel is scheduled to be released at noon on Tuesday, October 25, at the Beach St ramp in Ponce Inlet, weather and surf conditions permitting. The release will be on the north side of the ramp in the no-driving zone. Paid beach parking’s available on the south side of the ramp.
The Marine Science Center is currently caring for another sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle and a juvenile green sea turtle. There are also around 300 wash backs being cared for. The current plan is to release those wash backs on Friday, but only if there is a seaweed line offshore where the baby sea turtles can feed and hide from predators.
Photo courtesy Volusia County and Marine Science Center.
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