Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sea turtle release this Friday, June 3rd at 3pm

In partnership with the SC Department of Natural Resources and Charleston County Parks and Recreation, the South Carolina Aquarium will be releasing nine sea turtles back into the ocean on Friday, June 3rd at 3pm. The public is invited to come out to watch eight juvenile green sea turtles and one 200-pound loggerhead be returned to the ocean at Beachwalker County Park on Kiawah Island, SC. Parking space is limited and parking fees apply so we strongly encourage folks to come out to the beach early and to carpool!

Eight of the nine sea turtles being released are green sea turtles that were admitted in December 2010: Charms, Lewbart, Fisher, Cape Lookout, Sandy, Banks and Carteret from NC and Frosty from Hilton, Head, SC. The turtles were cold-stunned, an illness that affects sea turtles when a sudden drop in air temperatures causes coastal water temperatures to drop. This causes sea turtles to get hypothermia and it inhibits their ability to migrate into warm waters. Frosty actually suffered from frostbite and lost the tips of the front flippers. Below are a few photos from the admission of the cold-stunned greens and a more recent picture of several getting sunshine.

The loggerhead, Dawsey, was rescued after stranding on a sandbar at Caper's Inlet. 2 families were instrumental in staying with the wounded turtle until help could arrive. Sarah Dawsey and her crew from the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge got to the turtle just in time as the tide was rising. Dawsey's massive flipper wounds took several months to heal and she has been receiving physical therapy to increase the range of motion where scar tissue is abundant. She has been medically cleared and will make her return to the ocean on Friday! The photo below depicts what we often see Dawsey doing in her tank...looking out of her window at all the happenings in the hospital. Thanks for being such a great patient, Dawsey!

Huge thanks to everyone involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of these animals - there are so many I can't possibly name you all. Hope to see you Friday!