Monday, September 23, 2013

PHOTO BLOG: September 14, 2013 Sea Turtle Release

Thanks to all who came out to watch Parker, Dennis, Crosby and Skully be returned to the ocean after several months of rehabilitation at the South Carolina Aquarium! For those of you that were unable to make it, here are a few shots of these beautiful creatures going home.

Parker The five-pound juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle was accidentally caught by a recreational fisherman at the Myrtle Beach State Park Pier in June 2013. 

Parker avoiding capture from Kelly!
Sea Turtle Hospital volunteer Jo Durham shows Parker to onlookers as she heads down the beach!
Dennis: This juvenile Kemp's ridley was one of 18 cold stunned sea turtles admitted by the South Carolina Aquarium in the winter of 2012/13. Dennis was last of the cold-stuns to be released due a joint infection he developed in the right front flipper.

Sea Turtle Hospital volunteer Jo Durham and laser therapist Jennifer Oliverio pose with Parker and Dennis right before release, with a little help from adoptive parent sign holders, Kendal and Ainsley Chunn!

Jennifer Oliverio show Dennis off to onlooker while making her way down the beach.

A beautiful photograph of Dennis before s/he heads in!

Crosby: A 9-pound juvenile green sea turtle was found floating near Crosby's Seafood on the Folly River in April of this year, the same night as the Aquarium's Annual Conservation Gala.

Crosby is pulled from his/her tank right before heading to the beach!

Sea Turtle Hospital volunteer Jacquie Miller shows off Crosby to the crowd with some help from sign holder, Nate Millen!

Crosby getting a little excited!
Taking a little rest before heading in.
Skully: The 70-pound juvenile loggerhead stranded on a sandbar in Skull Inlet near Fripp Island in June.
Kelly and Lee load the Skully into the transport bin.
Janie and Mallory from the Fripp Island Turtle Team with Skully.
Janie, Mallory and Kelly carried Skully to the waters edge. The Aquarium's partnership with the turtle nest protection teams are so important! The Oliverio kids held signs so the onlookers knew who was being released!

A great shot of the large crowd watching Skully head home!

Heading home!

These releases bring the South Carolina Aquarium to 129 sea turtles released since the start of the program in 2000. A big thanks to everyone who makes the rescue, rehabilitation and release of these sea turtles possible, including the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, donors, volunteers, interns, and the media that helps to spread the good word about our work!

Whitney Daniel
Sea Turtle Biologist

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three Sea Turtles Being Released Saturday, September 14th!

Three sea turtles from the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program are ready to return to the sea! One green sea turtle, Crosby, one Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Parker, and one loggerhead sea turtle, Skully, will be released at the Isle of Palms County Park at 10 a.m., this Saturday, September 14, 2013.
The release is being held in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources(SCDNR) and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC).  The public is invited to join the festivities and are encouraged to carpool, arrive early, and are reminded that parking fees apply at the county park.
More on the sea turtles being released:
Skully, a 70-pound juvenile loggerhead was found by canoers stranded on a sandbar in Skull Inlet near Fripp Island in June.  When Skully was admitted to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital, biologists discovered old wounds to his/her plastron which were inhabited by marine leeches; the turtle was also thin, lethargic, anemic, and dehydrated.  The leeches were flushed out of the wound, and supportive care was administered.  Skully is now back to optimal health and is ready for a return to the open ocean.
Parker, a five-pound juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle, was accidentally caught by a recreational fisherman at the Myrtle Beach Pier in June of this year.  Upon admittance to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital, Parker was emaciated, dehydrated, and had poor blood work.  Due to the location of the hook, the Aquarium's staff veterinarian removed it without surgery.  Treatment for Parker included injectable antibiotics and vitamins, fluids, and plenty of food to help him/her gain weight.  Three months after admission, Parker is healthy, strong, and swimming around the tank ready to head back home.

Crosby, a 9-pound juvenile green sea turtle was found floating near Crosby's Seafood on the Folly River in April of this year, the same night as the Aquarium's annual Conservation Gala.  Captain Gresh Megget of Absolute Reel Screamer Charters called SCDNR officials after noticing the little green sea turtle swimming erratically and covered in marine growth.  During Crosby's stay at the Sea Turtle Hospital, s/he received fluids and antibiotics, and minor carapace wounds were flushed and treated.  In May, Crosby's buoyancy improved and s/he began eating a diet of fish and fresh vegetables.  Now strong and healthy, Crosby is ready to return to the sea turtle population off the East Coast.


We would like to send a huge thank you to everyone involved in the successful rehabilitation of these animals including rescuers, transporters, partner organizations, donors, volunteers, and staff - we could not do it without you!

Hope to see you all there!