Sea Turtle to be Released in Ponce Inlet Thursday


A loggerhead sea turtle will returned to the wild after a period of medical rehabilitation at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, according to an announcement this week from the county government. The turtle is sub-adult, and has been in human for over three months.

According to Volusia County's report on the turtle, affectionately called 'Pepper Jack', he was found stranded in Daytona Beach on March 30th. At the time he was found, Pepper Jack was described as 'slightly underweight, lethargic, and covered with barnacles and other organisms'.

Loggerhead sea turtle Pepper Jack when he was found in Daytona Beach back in March.
Loggerhead sea turtle Pepper Jack when he was found in Daytona Beach back in March.

Pepper Jack weighed 111 pounds at the time he was found in Daytona, and now has been nursed back to a healthier weight of 129 pounds according to the release. In the time he was being cared for, he was given vitamins, antibiotics, fluids, and his natural diet of fish and crustaceans.

The long-anticipated release of Pepper Jack back into the ocean will take place this Thursday, July 11th, at 10:00 am.  The release will take at the Beach Street Ramp in Ponce Inlet. Paid beach parking will be available on the ramp's south side, or attendees can park for free at the Marine Science Center (100 Lighthouse Dr) and then walk down to the beach.

Though the release of Peppper Jack may be exciting, it's hardly new ground for the Marine Science Center. Since being opened in 2002, the Center has cared for over 27,000 sea turtles and related reptiles, plus another 19,000+ birds that've been treated at the Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Facility on-site.