Earlier this morning, members of the SeaWorld Orlando animal rescue team returned a rehabilitated, sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle back into the waters of the Canaveral National Sea Shore in Titusville, Fla. This is the fifth turtle release of 2012.
The sea turtle was found on the beach in Indialantic, Fla., and was brought to SeaWorld in late December of 2011. The turtle was highly emaciated, lethargic and covered in leaches and barnacles. It was also suffering from digestive issues, possible pneumonia and small shell wounds.
Upon arrival at SeaWorld, the sea turtle immediately received antibiotics and was closely monitored by the SeaWorld Aquarium Team. SeaWorld worked closely with the the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to determine today the turtle was ready to be returned to its natural habitat.
Here is a pictorial of the steps in the return...
Aquarium rescue team members carry the loggerhead turtle from the transport vehicle down to the beach.
Senior turtle expert, Dan Conklin, takes one last look at the turtle before its return.
SeaWorld rescue team members watch the loggerhead as it makes its way toward the water.
Close up of the turtle preparing for its return.
SeaWorld rescue team members help turtle to the water's edge.
Rescue team members watch turtle return back to its natural environment.
To help protect this threatened species, make sure fishing line and all trash is disposed of properly when you're visiting the beaches. When fishing, use new "circle" hooks - sea turtles are less likely to swallow the circle-shaped hooks than traditional J-shaped, which cause suffocation or internal bleeding when swallowed. Also, if a sea turtle’s nest is seen, please contact authorities.
To learn more about what SeaWorld does to help turtles and other animals, visit SeaWorldTurtleTrek.com and see photos as well as interesting webisodes about our all-new attraction, TurtleTrek, opening April 27. TurtleTrek is the world's first 3D 360 dome theater experience that takes you on the incredible journey of a sea turtle and lets you see and learn about manatees and turtles up close.