I’ve always had a thing for turtles and that hasn’t changed as I’ve gotten older (I may still wear sea turtles slippers around the house), so when I heard that the SC Aquarium was releasing 3 sea turtles back into the wild after rehab, I decided that I had to be there. My boss, Jake, his wife Lexi, and little 13 month old, Eva, were also planning on attending (aka how I found out about the release) so we all sat on the same towel and enjoyed the fun!
Splinter is a 60-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle that was caught on board a SCDNR research vessel in late May with what appeared to be a large splinter in its flipper. The splinter turned out to be the bill of a swordfish! After just two months of treatment, Splinter was medically cleared for release.
When they put Splinter down to walk in the sand a little, he turned and looked straight at us which was awesome. Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to come hug me, and had to keep moving to the ocean instead. Maybe next time..
Sutton, an 8-pound Kemp’s ridley, was brought to the SC Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program in January of this year. Sutton was found cold-stunned off the coast of New England and was flown down to Charleston. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are the most endangered sea turtle species.
Almost the whole time Sutton was being walked down the beach to the water, he kept his flippers up, as if he was calling a field goal ‘GOOD!’
Raker is an 8-pound juvenile green sea turtle that was discovered washed up on Myrtle Beach on a cold day in April of this year. He was named after the beach rakers that saved his life and suffered from multiple issues including a shell infection, poor blood work, dehydration, and a low heart rate.
All 3 sea turtles were walked around so the crowds could see them close up and lots of volunteers were on hand to answer any sea turtle questions. Everyone cheered once the turtles made it past the waves and into the ocean — it was a really cool experience!
Naturally, this has just increased my love for sea turtles and I’m figuring out a way to get more involved and possibly volunteer with local turtle groups. 300+ sea turtle nests have been found and marked this year in the Charleston area alone!
My pictures weren’t awesome, but Jake has a new fancy camera and posted some of his favorite shots from the day here.