Monday, May 18, 2009

Many turn out for DeBordieu's release

It had to be one of our biggest releases yet – the release DeBordieu, a celebrity sea turtle in many ways.

DeBordieu, an adult female loggerhead possibly as old as 50-60 years, was released on the Isle of Palms on Saturday, May 2, 2009 in partnership with the SCDNR. Many turtle hospital tour visitors had met her during the 22 months of her rehabilitation in the Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital. She was quite a sight to behold during this time and even more so on the beach.
I have to say that DeBordieu was without doubt, the most difficult turtle I’ve ever treated. They all have different dispositions and as you may have read in her medical updates, she was stubborn during medical evaluations and therapy and at feeding time was not only picky but extremely messy, pulverizing most of the food she was given. Anytime we would work near her tank, she seemed to splash copious amounts of water out of the tank right where we were working. Coincidence? Perhaps. But that tough girl attitude may be just what it takes to survive in an ocean full of threats to her species. This old gal has survived this long and I believe she has a good long life in front of her in which to help to increase the threatened loggerhead population. We wish her the best.

Thanks to all who were involved in her rescue, her rehabilitation and to all who came to see her off on Saturday. Choreographing this particular release proved to be more challenging than expected. A lot of people have been involved during DeBordieu’s tenure with us and we tried to accommodate all during the release. We hope all who showed up at least got one good look at this majestic sea turtle before her return to the ocean. Be assured that we evaluate each and every release and constantly strive to improve the experience for all involved.

As always, thank you for your support of this program…we couldn’t do it without you!

Kelly Thorvalson