Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium said a fond farewell to seven juvenile green sea turtles today as they were released in Ormond Beach.
The seven turtles came to Mote’s care after stranding on the east coast of Florida due to cold stress. Cold stress can be potentially fatal as the turtle’s body functions slow down, leaving it susceptible to predators and boat strikes, allowing for algae to grow on their backs, and more.
Due to a lack of space at east coast rehabilitation facilities, these turtles came to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital in early March. A total of 15 sea turtles were transferred on March 9. In extremely critical condition upon arrival, these turtles were almost completely covered in epibiota such as barnacles and algae.
After being cleared for release, the seven turtles were given a last physical check and implanted with a PIT tag (passive integrated transponder). These small microchips function much like a pet microchip does, so the animals will be able to identified if they strand again.
The nicknames of the turtles released today were: Apo, Andros, Hana, Osprey, Pulley, Rowley, and Sombrero. Read more about each patient, and the other’s remaining in Mote’s care, at mote.org/hospital.
Late 2020, Mote also received over 20 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles as part of a cold stun event in Cape Cod. Read more about the release of nine of them here.
Support Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital at mote.org/donate.
Activities conducted under FWC Marine Turtle Permit MTP-20-126.