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Two healthy sea turtles back in the open ocean

  • Monday, April 7, 2014

Two large loggerhead sea turtles are once again swimming free. PROVIDED

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After almost 10 months of expert care, two large loggerhead sea turtles are once again swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Miss Royal and Nud were both brought to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program in June of last year, each with different medical problems. Both were recently released by boat in the Gulf Stream where the water temperature is above 70 degrees. Sea turtles are cold blooded and a minimum temperature of 70 degrees is necessary to release them back into the wild. This release was made possible thanks to the generosity of Kevin and Sandra Gary who provided the boat for the trip out to the Gulf Stream.

Miss Royal, a 215-pound female loggerhead sea turtle was picked up by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources research vessel, the Lady Lisa, off of Beaufort County. Miss Royal was found with a propeller wound to the right side of her carapace (shell) extending through her right rear flipper. The wounds were flushed and treated and the badly damaged portion of the flipper was successfully removed. After 10 months of expert care and a healthy diet, Miss Royal was cleared for release.

Nud, a 71-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle was found stranded on DeBordieu Beach suffering from a severe skin infection that caused a decline in health. Treatment included fluids, vitamin and antibiotic injections, as well as topical antibiotics and antifungal cream for the skin. Nud also received laser treatment to help accelerate the healing process. Nud spent 10 months in the care of Sea Turtle Hospital staff and recently received a clean bill of health.

To find out more or learn how you can help, visit www.scaquarium.org. Be sure to follow the program on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates from the hospital and to find out when the next public sea turtle release will take place.

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