Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center Successfully Releases Five Rehabilitated Sea Turtles

Posted on August 19, 2021 by Staff reports

Spectators watch as Pluto makes her way into the Gulf of Mexico. Submitted photo.

Fort Walton Beach, FL. – The Gulfarium’s C.A.R.E. Center successfully released five rehabilitated sea turtles on Thursday morning, August 19, 2021 at Inlet Beach, Florida.

It was a beautiful morning as the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center released some of it’s recent sea turtle patients, consisting of three different species of turtle, including three Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, one loggerhead sea turtle and one green sea turtle. “We were delighted to release these turtles back into the Gulf of Mexico. All species of sea turtle are endangered, with the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle being the most endangered, so being able to rehabilitate these animals and release them back into the Gulf to help preserve the species is so rewarding” states Patrick Berry, Director of the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center. 

The five sea turtles, ranging in weight from 20 – 95 lbs. were released today after successful rehabilitations at the C.A.R.E. Center. All five turtles were accidently hooked by fishermen at local fishing piers within the past two weeks. “We were happy to see that each of these turtles only needed short stays with us. Mercury, Twilight, Saturn and Blackfin all had clear x-rays showing no ingested debris so were cleared for release once the external hooks were removed. Pluto had a J-hook within his esophagus that was non-surgically removed before being ready to head back into the Gulf” states Tabitha Siegfried, Stranding Coordinator at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center. 

All turtles were given a clean bill of health and approved to be released though FWC officials and the C.A.R.E. veterinarian and animal care team. The C.A.R.E. Center continues to have several other turtles currently undergoing rehabilitation and the team expect this season to continue to be a busy one for sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation, and release.   

If you see a sea turtle in distress, injured, or deceased please report it to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission immediately at 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922). 

Follow the C.A.R.E. Center on Facebook to learn more about sea turtles and the center’s rehabilitation efforts.  

The Gulfarium CARE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is proud to act as a beacon for coastal conservation through marine animal rescue and rehabilitation. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online on the C.A.R.E. Center’s page.