Monday, August 13, 2012

Sea Turtle Release this Thursday at Kiawah!

The South Carolina Aquarium is excited to announce the release of two sea turtles, Pier and Grover, at 3pm on Thursday, August 16th at Beachwalker County Park on Kiawah Island. County Park parking fees apply and parking will be limited so please carpool and arrive early. This release, in partnership with the SC Department of Natural Resources and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, will bring the South Carolina Aquarium to 94 sea turtles successfully rehabilitated and returned to the ocean.

Pier:  This juvenile loggerhead sea turtle suffered a massive shark bite to the carapace (shell) and remarkably, escaped otherwise unscathed. Luckily, fishermen on the Folly Beach fishing pier caught the injured turtle on hook and line and notified proper authorities so the turtle could be transported to the Sea Turtle Hospital and returned to optimal health.

Pier's first swim in the Sea Turtle Hospital.
Close up of Pier's wound during admission.
A remarkable amount of healing has taken place in only 2 months!
Grover:  Rescued in March of this year from the chilly waters of Cherry Grove, the juvenile green sea turtle was the first live local stranding of the season. The 60 degree waters caused the turtle to become hypothermic but after 5 months in rehabilitation, is incredibly strong and feisty!
Grover's behavior and physical condition improved greatly after 4 months of rehabilitation.
The colors of Grover's plastron, carapace and skin has improved dramatically!
These turtles have made a lasting impression on those that have visited them in the hospital on tours and that have worked with them. They both epitomize the resilience of sea turtles and their feisty nature reminds us why these animals have been around for millions of years. Good luck Pier and Grover!

Kelly Thorvalson
Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager

PS - Remember to arrive extra early to get a parking place and a good viewing spot on the ropes!