Clearwater Marine Aquarium Rescues, Rehabs and Releases Threatened Sea Turtle to Wild

After Gaining 38 pounds in rehab, “Wiley” goes home

Clearwater Beach, FL (February 19, 2020) – On Wednesday, February 19 at 11:00 a.m., Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), released “Wiley,” a threatened sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, back into the wild at Fred Howard Park. The 128.7-pound loggerhead was severely underweight and in poor health when rescued by CMA. Now, “Wiley” has a second chance at life.

View video and photos of Wiley’s release.

View footage and photos of Wiley’s rehab at CMA.

“Wiley was found floating sideways at the Crystal River Power Plan in Citrus County,” said Dr. Shelly Marquardt. “When she came to CMA on June 20th she was very thin with several skin ulcers and algae build up along carapace, indicating that she had been ill for quite a while and not eating regularly.”

Upon intake at CMA’s surgical suite, diagnostics found that “Wiley” was very anemic and had gastrointestinal gas that was creating abnormal buoyancy and causing her to float sideways. At 90.6 lbs., “Wiley’s” treatment plan consisted of fluids, antibiotics, medication to help her gastrointestinal tract move, and a healthy diet of jumbo shrimp and other restaurant quality fish. Within a month, “Wiley” was starting to gain weight and swimming normally. During the rehab process, Wiley gained a total of 38.1 lbs.

“Wiley had the typical challenges throughout rehab, but was resilient. Getting her to rest on the bottom of the rehab pool was the first hurdle, and then it was slow, steady improvement from there,” said Dr. Marquardt. “She was partial to the jumbo shrimp and especially enjoyed the occasional crab. After months of good nutrition and medical care, Wiley is ready to be released.”

“Wiley” was cleared for release by Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Loggerheads are named for their large heads which support their powerful jaws used to crush hard-shelled prey like sea urchins and clams.

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