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