Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Mama Pritchard" goes home!

Weighing 368 pounds at release, Mama Pritchard is the largest sea turtle ever to be released by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The first major task was to get her out of her hospital tank! This was done with a team of 7 Aquarium staff members.

People came from all over South Carolina to see her one last time as she lumbered down the beach at the Isle of Palms towards the ocean. Rebecca Padget and Anne Furlong were both interns on Pritchard's Island during the summer of 2008 and were responsible for Mama Pritchard's initial rescue on the beach. They both drove into town (one all the way from Virginia) to see the release and are pictured here with Mama Pritchard, Dr. Boylan and me.

With help from a large crew on the beach, Mama Pritchard finally made it to the ocean. Below are two short video clips of the release. Without a doubt, it was an amazing sight to see.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in the rescue, rehabilitation and ultimate release of this turtle. This includes our stranded turtle adoptive parents and all the folks who visited her over the 21 months in our Sea Turtle Hospital. You all make it possible for us to do what we do!

Kelly T