Thursday, December 17, 2015

SeaWorld Releases Sea Turtles Off Florida Beach

loggerhead sea turtle
Loggerhead sea turtle

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida -  On Wednesday morning, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned a 63-pound endangered loggerhead sea turtle measuring 23 inches long to its natural environment on Playalinda Beach at Canaveral National Seashore located off the east coast of Central Florida.  The large loggerhead spent more than 3-months at SeaWorld Orlando’s rehabilitation facility after a large fishing hook became embedded in its head.


The loggerhead sea turtle was rescued in August near Jetty Beach, Fla., by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. The animal was brought to SeaWorld Orlando for immediate medical attention and rehabilitation.

After the turtle was stabilized and initial health tests and blood work were completed, the SeaWorld team was able to take X-rays to better gauge the depth and degree of damage from the hook before removal. Fortunately, the embedded hook was a “circle” hook and was quickly removed without causing any additional trauma to surrounding tissue.

As part of treatment, the turtle also received a balanced diet, increased vitamin intake, and daily care by SeaWorld Orlando’s veterinary and zoological staff. After a positive trend in health and several medical tests, the turtle was deemed ready to be returned to the ocean by government officials. SeaWorld Orlando veterinarians and zoological staff work closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to determine when and where a rescued animal can be returned.

The loggerhead was returned to the ocean with another loggerhead that came to SeaWorld Orlando in February after being rescued near St. Augustine and two rehabilitated cold stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that came to SeaWorld Orlando in November 2014 from Massachusetts.

So far in 2015, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 63 sea turtles and returned 88. 

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles
Kemp’s ridley sea turtles