With sea turtle nesting season officially starting on May 1, the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center team has been busy rehabilitating multiple sick or injured turtles.
FORT WALTON BEACH — The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released two rehabilitated sea turtles on Tuesday morning at Pensacola Beach.
With sea turtle nesting season officially starting on May 1, the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center team has been busy rehabilitating multiple sick or injured turtles. The immediate release of two of their patients was a joyous event for all.
The first turtle to be released was Hercules, a 7-pound juvenile green sea turtle, that arrived at the C.A.R.E. Center April 30 after being found exhausted, with multiple wounds to his shell and flippers. The wound pattern showed abrasions and punctures in an evenly spaced manner, suggesting they were most likely caused during a shark encounter. Upon arriving at the C.A.R.E. Center, Hercules received sutures for injuries to the rear flippers. During his time at the C.A.R.E. Center, Hercules' wounds healed and his energy returned.
"We are very happy with the progress that Hercules has made," states Terra Throgmorton, Gulfarium's medical and stranding coordinator. "He was cleared for release following the removal of his sutures and we were thrilled for this little green head to get back into the Gulf."
Pinny, a juvenile Green weighing 34 pounds, was the second turtle to be released. Pinny was hooked in the right front flipper by a fisherman at Navarre Beach Fishing Pier, and arrived at the C.A.R.E. Center on May 2. The hook came out during rescue; however, she had some scarring and partially healed wounds on her right front shoulder that were likely from a previous line entanglement. With the help of a microchip previously placed by our C.A.R.E. team in 2018, we were able to see that this is the third time that Pinny has been rescued and rehabilitated at the C.A.R.E. Center. Radiographs showed that no foreign debris had been ingested so Pinny was quickly ready for release back into the ocean.
Follow the C.A.R.E. Center on Facebook to learn more about sea turtles and the center's rehabilitation efforts.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is located on Okaloosa Island. They are open seven days a week at 9 a.m. For more info visit www.gulfarium.com or call (850) 243-9046.