FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD)- The South Carolina Aquarium released six rehabilitated sea turtles into the ocean on Wednesday, marking the second round of releases this season.
On Wednesday morning, beachgoers gathered at Folly Beach County Park to watch three loggerhead sea turtles and three Kemp’s ridleys sea turtles make their return to the Atlantic Ocean.
Three of the turtles were treated for cold-stunning conditions and two were treated for injuries. One turtle was treated for Debilitated Turtle Syndrome, a combination of malnutrition, starvation, fatigue, and lethargy.
Here is more information on each turtle, provided by the Sea Turtle Care Center:
Sunstone: Sunstone, a loggerhead, arrived at the Care Center with a serious flipper injury back in July of 2021. Likely a result of a run-in with a shark, Sunstone’s flipper was debrided and they were given antibiotics to fight infection.
Citrine: In July of last year, this loggerhead was admitted after being rescued by Charleston Outdoor Adventures. Lethargic and extremely underweight, Citrine was treated for a classic case of debilitated turtle syndrome (DTS).
Moonstone: Moonstone, a loggerhead, was admitted to the Sea Turtle Care Center exactly a year ago today and was treated for two stingray barb injuries: one in their flipper and one in their side.
Elsa: Along with seven other Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, Elsa was transported to us from the New England Aquarium with the help of Turtles Fly Too back in November. Elsa was treated for cold stunning, the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia.
Gale: Just like Elsa, Gale was transported to us from New England after water temperatures plummeted. This sudden temperature drop can cause cold stunning in sea turtles.
Olaf: Of the eight cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles from New England, Olaf was struggling the most. They were treated for the severest symptoms of cold stunning, including low heart rate.
The Sea Turtle Care Center has successfully rehabilitated and released 355 sea turtles since its opening and is currently treating five patients.