Orlando, Fla. (May 23, 2017) – After four months of specialized care, a 230 pound loggerhead sea turtle is back home in the ocean thanks to SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Team and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The turtle was released this morning at Sebastian Inlet.
Rescued in January, the sea turtle was found floating in the Indian River Lagoon near Fort Pierce. It was missing its left front flipper and covered in barnacles with visible damage on its shell. At the time of the rescue, the turtle weighed 218 pounds. The animal had eaten an abundance of sand dollars, which were creating blockages in its intestines. With patience, medication, and fluid therapy, the rescue team at SeaWorld removed the blockage from the sea turtle.
After a clean bill of health from the veterinarians, the sub-adult loggerhead became the 12th rehabilitated sea turtle returned to the wild by SeaWorld Orlando this year.
May 23 has been annually recognized as World Turtle Day since 2000. In partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued nearly 2,000 sea turtles since 1980.
The successful rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles is another great example of SeaWorld’s commitment to protecting sea life. For more than 50 years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. More than 29,000 animals have been rescued by the expert animal rescue team that is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.
All turtle return footage produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911 and FWC Permit Number MTP-15-035.