30 sea turtles arrive from New England in style

Local News

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – On Friday morning in Inlet Beach Gulf World Marine Institute released Lorax, the loggerhead sea turtle.

He came to the center after he got a fishhook in his mouth at the Navarre Beach pier. He’d been in their care since July.

Gulf World said that he was the longest rehabilitated turtle they’ve had this season. He was originally hooked at the Navarre Beach pier, the Stranding Coordinator at Gulf World Lauren Albrittain said he had several more injuries.

“When he came in we noticed that he had extensive other injuries, so he had a pretty severe injury on his front flipper that was deep to the bone he also had injuries all over his carapace, his flippers his neck, his plastron so his top and bottom shells, so basically he was hooked but he also had other issues. We wanted to make sure those wounds completely healed up before we released him.”

This wasn’t the only sea turtle rescue in our region.

The special day continued at the airport to receive 30 cold-stunned sea turtles from New England, they were brought to us on a private jet by the program “Turtles Fly Too”.

“So these guys go too cold washed ashore, and they were brought into triage at the New England aquarium in the facility in Quincy, Massachusetts. Once they are triaged, they decide where to send these animals all over the Atlantic coast, the Gulf coast, and some inland states as well,” Albrittain added. “We’re picking up our batch today, and it is all to help spread the load out, so that way they can make space for more turtles as they strand throughout the season up north.”

Both institutes will closely monitor the juveniles over the next two days to make sure their body temperatures come back up.

Stranding Coordinator at Gulfarium, Tabitha Siegfried, said the healing process is different for each turtle.

“So it’s gonna be very dependent on the turtles and their situation and how they are healing or we could 8 at one release we could do 16 at one release it really just depends on each individual turtle’s specific needs, Siegfried said.”

The thirty turtles were transported in banana boxes, with 14 going to Gulf World, and 16 going to Gulfarium in Fort Walton beach.

If things go well, the turtles could be re-released in as little as two months.

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