INLET BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — It took six strong Gulf World Marine Institute officials to release a 175-pound loggerhead sea turtle back into her natural habitat Wednesday morning.
Gulf World’s Stranding Coordinator Lauren Albrittain calls her ‘Big Mama.’
“Thankfully most of our sea turtles aren’t that big,” Albrittain said. “They don’t always come in as adults. But because it is nesting season the adults are near the shore this time of year so it’s not uncommon to see them.”
A fisherman accidentally hooked Big Mama off the M.B. Miller County Pier on Sunday.
Pier officials notified Gulf World, which rescued the turtle.
“And that’s what we want people to do. We want them to let pier management know if they accidentally hook a turtle,” Albrittain said. “Because even if it looks like an easy hook, we want to make sure nothing else is going on. Thankfully with this turtle, it was just the one easy hook.”
Fortunately, the turtle was fine and able to be released after just one full day of recovery.
In the blink of an eye, Big Mama was gone with the Inlet Beach waves.
Some of her audience almost left with her.
“Actually as I was videoing the turtle going into the water, I wasn’t watching what I was doing and went into the water with the turtle,” Tourist Nadine Risley said.
Risely said she didn’t expect to get wet this morning.
But she got the video.
“It’s great,” she said. “I’ve already looked at it. It’s fabulous so I’m going to be sure to share it with everybody.”
Risley said this experience was something she’ll never forget.
She recommends everyone go watch a sea turtle release.
And if you hook a sea turtle in Florida, Gulf World recommends you call *FWC or #FWC to reach the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.