Florida Aquarium just released four sea turtles back into the wild

In February, eight arrived in Tampa Bay cold-stunned and unable to swim.

click to enlarge Florida Aquarium just released four sea turtles back into the wild
Photo via the Florida Aquarium

Remember those eight cold-stunned sea turtles that arrived at the Florida Aquarium’s brand new, $4.1 million Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in February?

Well, four of ‘em got plopped back in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday. A release from the aquarium says that the green sea turtles — which were among the first to be cared for at the facility — were returned to the Atlantic Ocean at Wilbur-By-The-Sea in Volusia County.

In February, the turtles arrived cold-stunned, meaning that low temperatures had caused the cold-blooded cuties to stop swimming in addition to developing decreased heart rates, circulation issues and pneumonia. After arriving at the Apollo Beach facility, the turtles received care from Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Staff, which worked around the clock to stabilize the sea turtles and gradually raised their body temperatures until they were able to swim. The turtles got antibiotics, wound care, and fluid and nutritional support. Blood work, X-rays, and regular physical exams were also part of the care regimen over the last few months.

“This recent return of sea turtles represents another major milestone for our expanding Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach,” Ari Fustukjian, the Florida Aquarium’s Senior Staff Veterinarian, said in a statement. “... We hope to rescue many more sea turtles in the years to come.”

The release says that the four turtles swam off immediately after being placed in the water, but it did leave one part out. Eight turtles — seven green turtles and one loggerhead — arrived in February, but only four were returned on Wednesday.

"[The other four] are still at the sea turtle rehabilitation center at Apollo beach. They are not ready to be released yet," Sandra Morrison, Director of Communications, told CL. "These four were cleared to be released back into their natural habitat."

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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