UPDATE (08-01-18): Cedar was released this morning in front of a crowd of beachgoers and well-wishers. Volusia County Beach Safety officials posted a short video of Cedar going back to the ocean on Twitter.
Turtle Release. Way to go Cedar! pic.twitter.com/CpMyiwqLzX
— Volusia Beaches (@VolusiaBeach) August 1, 2018
Earlier reporting below.
Ponce Inlet, FL – A sea turtle found stranded and sick in Daytona will be returning home August 1st.
The Marine Science Center plans to release Cedar, a sub-adult (meaning not of reproductive age) sea turtle at 10 a.m. from the Beach Street ramp in Ponce Inlet.
April 30th is when beachgoers discovered Cedar on the shore in Daytona Beach. She was transported to the Marine Science Center, where staff determined she was immune compromised, anemic and underweight.
“When we received Cedar, she was 86 pounds and encrusted with barnacles, which is a sign that she was debilitated and floating around in the ocean and unable to eat,” says Chad Macfie with the Volusia County Marine Science Center. “When we did the initial intake, she was very low in her glucose levels and severely underweight. After we formulated a treatment plan, we were able to slowly start feeding Cedar.”
Her treatment included antibiotics, vitamin injections, fluids with electrolytes & dextrose and a healthy diet of fish.
Soon after treatment, Macfie says she recovered and began to gain weight, a total of 22 pounds. She currently weighs 108 pounds.
This is the 75th turtle MSC has rehabilitated so far in 2018, only 15 turtles shy of what they did in 2017.
The release, which is dependent on weather and surf conditions, will take place on the north side of the ramp in the no-driving zone.
Paid beach parking is available but free parking is available at the Marine Science Center, just a short walk from the approach.
Photos are courtesy of the Marine Science Center.