Good-bye Friends!

Here are some more pictures from the Earth Day release. These are the three turtles we introduced in the recent blog: Before and After—Frankenberry, Crunchasaurus Rex and Lucky.

A Kemp's ridley turtle nicknamed Frankenberry makes its way down the beach to the water

Here's Cruchasaurus Rex. The last time this turtle was this far south would have probably been as a hatchling, approximately 3 years ago.

Senior Biologist Julika Wocial getting ready to release 007.

"Crunchasaurus Rex" 007 feels the warm Florida water again. 

The next turtle was one of two loggerheads released on this trip. "Lucky the Leprechaun" 090 required two aquarium personnel to get the turtle out of its transport kennel. Once out and on the beach this turtle steadily ambled its way back to sea.  

Senior Veterinary Technician Katie Youngman and Rescue Intern Ariana Livingston
help get "Lucky" out of the transport kennel.

A crowd sends "Lucky" on its way

Good Luck 90!

The other Kemp's ridley we posted about, "Frankenberry" 023, was released alongside several other turtles. 
Nikki Wong, volunteer for the Rescue department getting ready to release the turtle.

Safe travels "Frankenberry"!

Bon voyage turtles!


We still have several turtles in the rehab facility that are being cared for. Stay tuned for updates on previous turtle cases, like 067 "Kaboom". Also, to hear about other turtles such as 016 "Honeycombs" and 022 "Pop".


More photos from the release.

Now that the team is back from releasing thirty one rehabbed turtles in Florida.  We have been able to look through some of our photos and are now able to start sharing them with you. Enjoy the pictures!

On the way south. First major obstacle to get over is the George Washington Bridge! Looks like the turtle gods were with them.

In order to accommodate the number of turtles the caravan consisted of three vehicles. 

Upon arrival at Little Talbot Island the park rangers assisted us with getting the turtles over the dunes to the release site.

Lining the turtles up and getting them ready to send home to the Atlantic!

One last good-bye...

and away they...


After twenty four hours of driving, a couple of hours setting up the the release site, and the successful release of thirty one endangered sea turtles a well earned celebration takes place! 

See all of the 2013 Cold Stun sea turtle season posts here.



Turtle release pictures!

This is a cross-post from the Aquarium's News and Updates blog. We will be sharing our own pictures from this exciting trek and release event soon—stay tuned!

As most of us slept soundly Monday night, nine Aquarium rescue team staff and volunteers were driving three vehicles all night down the length of the East Coast with a precious cargo: 31 rescued and endangered sea turtles. 

Rescuers and volunteers pulled an all-nighter to bring the turtles to the warm Florida waters.

Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., they were released into the warm Florida surf!

A Kemp's ridley sea turtle moments before its release

We're sharing some amazing images shot by an Austrian freelance photographer named Ether Horvath, who traveled with them. Stay tuned to the Rescue Blog for more on this epic Spring Break road trip—with a truly noble cause.

And they're off!
Happy Earth Day and safe travels, turtles!

One last look at a loggerhead before it heads out to sea

Learn about the start of these turtles' journey back at the Animal Care Center.


Before and After

As we await more photos from yesterdays release. I thought I would share some before and after photos of the released turtles.

BEFORE: When 023 "Frankenberry" first arrived we were unsure if the wounds to both eyes
were severe enough that the turtle couldn't see. 
AFTER: After a few weeks and a stint on eye meds and antibiotics, the turtle started chasing food items through the water column. This turtle as you can see recovered nicely.

BEFORE: 090 or "Lucky the Leprechaun" was one of our last live stranded turtles.
This loggerhead sea turtle was extremely malnourished. Very dehydrated. It had a heart rate of
two beats per minute on admission. It did not breathe on its own and required intubation.  

AFTER: This turtle fought back from the brink of death after life saving medication and lots of one on one care. 090 or "Lucky the Leprechaun" has become the picture of health you see today.   

BEFORE:  007 "Crunchasaurus Rex" was admitted with several odd shaped lacerations to it's front left flipper. 

BEFORE: Though we tried to save the flipper the necrosis was too great and we had surgically amputate. 

AFTER: However, this little one was a very aggressive turtle. The turtle would always try to bite us when out for treatments. Watch out Northern Florida!

Still not enough? Check out these Florida news websites about the release herehere and here!



Earth Day treat!

Hi all,

It's that time of year again. The cold-stunned turtles are feisty and looking good. Turtles have been off their medications for a while. Some turtles have started diets. Regular exams show no significant findings. The final piece... the temperature off the Florida coast has become warm enough to sustain our rehab patients.
It's turtle trek time again....
The three vehicles getting readied for the transport.

This morning at the Quincy Animal Care Center we packed up thirty one turtles to head back to the ocean. Among this group are two loggerhead, one green, and twenty eight Kemp's ridley sea turtles.

First thing we need to do is start getting turtles out of the rehab pools.
Two teams are set up to start capturing the turtles.

Volunteers Dave MacLean(L) and John Lyons pull out one of our juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtles.
One of the two loggerhead sea turtles heading south 089 or "Baron Von Redberry"  being placed into its travel crate. In the crate shown below.

Then the turtles enter an assembly line of sorts. Here they get their unique ID number placed on the transport box. They are then lubricated with a water based lubricant (so that they can stay moist for their almost 24 hour road trip).
Foreground: Turtles get lubricated on their "soft" skin areas which include the neck and flippers. In the background you can see the animal ID being written on the box.
Then the box gets cable tied so that the inhabitants are unable to get out. They are then swiftly moved to a heated vehicle.Where each turtle is placed in a specific way.
To the left and above volunteers Elizabeth Linske and Shannon Wood swiftly move the turtle out of the facility and into the back of one of the waiting transport vehicles.

Turtles and supplies are packed to optimize temperature and air flow for our patients.

One last safety briefing before heading out.

For those of you fortunate to be at Little Talbot State Park, Duval County Florida on Earth Day around 8am here is what you will be in for! (see posts from last year's turtle trek here)

Three Kemp's ridley sea turtles from last years Florida turtle release.

Good luck everyone!


Bye, Bye Biscuits

Biscuits gets hefted out of her tank in preparation for her transport.

Caring for a 200-poung loggerhead turtle wasn't easy. Every time the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue Team staff had to do an exam or procedure on Biscuits, they needed five or six people to lift her out of her tank and move her to the clinic.

Getting Biscuits on her way back to the ocean was a team effort, too: Rescue staff, NOAA staff, a volunteer pilot from LightHawk and staff from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center worked together to get Biscuits back home.

The LightHawk plane with Biscuits aboard heads to Georgia.

The team from WBUR's The Animalist went along to document the trip. Here's the video from The Animalist.

See more pictures and video of her flapping back into the Atlantic Ocean after her release last month after her rehabilitation with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. It's scenes like this that make hefting 200-pound turtles during months of rehabilitation all worth it!