Wild Nature

published : 2023-10-28

Three Sea Turtles Released into the Wild After Rehabbing in Florida

Cancer, fishing injuries among maladies treated at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Three sea turtles swimming gracefully in the crystal clear waters of Florida's Gulf Coast, captured with a Nikon D850.

Three sea turtles, including two green sea turtles and a Kemp's ridley turtle, have been successfully rehabilitated at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida's Gulf Coast.

Sparkler, a juvenile green sea turtle, was released at Fred Howard Park, while Toast, a large green sea turtle, and Loaf, a Kemp's ridley turtle, were released in Homosassa, north of Tampa.

The release of these turtles marks a significant milestone in their journey back to their natural habitats.

Sparkler was discovered on July 4 with a severe fibropapillomatosis tumor on its left front flipper and minor tumors on both eyes, which were surgically removed by the dedicated veterinarians at the aquarium.

A dedicated veterinarian delicately removing tumors from Sparkler, the juvenile green sea turtle, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Photo taken with a Canon EOS R5.

Loaf had an unfortunate encounter with a fisherman on August 3, but the staff at the aquarium promptly removed the hooks from its esophagus and ensured its recovery.

Toast, found in a wooded area in north Florida on October 9, possibly due to Hurricane Idalia, was deemed to be in relatively good condition and was cleared for release.

In addition to these three turtles, a fourth juvenile Kemp's ridley turtle was also released after undergoing rehabilitation at the aquarium.

The successful rehabilitation and release of these turtles exemplify the vital conservation efforts being undertaken to protect these endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

Toast, the large green sea turtle, majestically gliding through the ocean waters off the coast of Homosassa, Florida. This stunning image was captured with a Sony A7R IV.

This remarkable journey of resilience and recovery is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the team at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

By rehabilitating these sea turtles, they have not only saved individual lives but have contributed to the preservation of these incredible creatures and their ecosystems.