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Two Endangered Juvenile Sea Turtles Back in the Open Ocean
Published:
7/2/2015 2:58:13 PM


 
Two healthy sea turtles are now swimming the Atlantic Ocean after being successfully rehabilitated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The release of these two endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles off of Sullivan's Island, S.C. brings the total number of sea turtles released by the Aquarium to 168.
 
More on the turtles released:
Bud and Massey:
These two juvenile sea turtles were part of a massive stranding event along the New England coast in November 2014, during which time more than 1,000 sea turtles were found near death from hypothermia after a severe cold front hit Massachusetts' coastal areas. The turtles were flown to Charleston via a private flight generously donated by Will and Margie Dorminy, local residents and owners of Southern Eagle Distributing. They were treated with antibiotics, fluids and vitamin injections. Bud and Massey suffered from osteomyelitis, a bone infection that periodically impacts the immunosuppressed Kemp's ridleys. After seven months of care, Bud and Massey received a clean bill of health from the Aquarium's veterinarian and were released into the Atlantic Ocean on June 30, 2015.
 
About cold-stunning:
Sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles that depend on the environment to regulate their body temperature. Typically, sea turtles migrate to warmer waters when the water starts cooling in the fall. If they don't make the migration before coastal water temperatures drop, they suffer from hypothermia, also known as cold-stunning. Symptoms of cold-stunning include decreased heart and respiration rates, decreased circulation, and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and, in worst case scenarios, death.
 
Help is needed:
As patients like Bud and Massey receive treatment and are released, it is important now more than ever to execute the planned expansion of the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital. The state-of-the-art facility will significantly increase the capacity to rescue, rehabilitate and release threatened and endangered sea turtles. The new facility will be equipped with triage units, a private intensive care unit, deeper tanks, an exercise pool, cutting edge medical equipment, and additional laboratory and life-support space. The expansion of the hospital onto the Aquarium's first floor will expose this transformative learning experience to our 430,000 annual visitors (only 16,000 visitors currently tour the hospital annually). As a nonprofit, the Aquarium is looking to the community to support the construction of the hospital. To help us expand the Sea Turtle Hospital, click here.
 
What can you do:
You can help protect threatened and endangered sea turtles. If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431. You may also help care for sea turtles in recovery in the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program by making a donation at scaquarium.org.
 
To read about our patients or track their recovery progress, visit our Sea Turtle Rescue Program blog at scaquarium.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates from the hospital, including public sea turtle release details.
 
Fast Facts:
  • Two endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles release off of Sullivan's Island, S.C.
  • Both were part of a massive cold stun event in New England
  • The release of these two turtles brings the total number of sea turtles released by the Aquarium to 168
  • To support the expansion of the Sea Turtle Hospital click here
  • For photos and video of the release click here
 

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