Earlier this evening at 5 p.m. at Hightower Beach Park in Satellite Beach, Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center released Merriam, a subadult male loggerhead sea turtle. Merriam was admitted last year on Dictionary Day (October 16). He was found floating sideways in the water with barnacles, algae and an open wound on his shell, which indicated a severe body cavity infection. Staff and volunteers treated the turtle with fluids, antibiotics, vitamins and nutritious food and applied honey to his wound.
Found in oceans all over the world, loggerheads are considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Entanglement in fishing gear, poaching, coastal habitat loss and climate change pose the most significant threats to this species.