South Carolina Aquarium announces first public sea turtle release

Local News
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CHARLETON, S.C. (WCBD) – Today, the South Carolina Aquarium, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, announces that two sea turtles rehabilitated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center will be released into the Atlantic Ocean to complete the journey home.

The public is invited to join the Aquarium tomorrow, May 10, at 2 p.m. at Isle of Palms County Park for the first public beach release of the year, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans, the official vehicle sponsor of the Sea Turtle Care Center.

Last July, boaters spotted a subadult Kemp’s ridley sea turtle floating offshore near Edisto Island. After carefully bringing the turtle onboard, it was evident the sea turtle needed medical attention after suffering an apparent boat strike to its carapace. Following 11 months of closely-monitored recovery in the Sea Turtle Care Center, Coral’s wound has healed, and she is clear to return home to the Atlantic Ocean.

Rhaegal is one of three cold-stunned loggerhead sea turtles that were transferred to the Sea Turtle Care Center from the Virginia Aquarium after being discovered at Little Island Park in Virginia Beach, Va. Upon stranding, Rhaegal’s body temperature was extremely low, and his heartrate was only 12 beats per minute. Radiographs administered by Sea Turtle Care Center staff revealed pneumonia. Following nearly six months of rehabilitation that included antibiotic injections, Rhaegal is ready to complete his journey home.

The South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center has rehabilitated and released 249 sea turtles to date; Thursday’s release will bring the total to 251.

Please be advised: Media representatives will be required to show their credentials to the South Carolina Aquarium media relations team and will then be escorted to the media lane for the release. South Carolina Aquarium Public Relations Manager Bethany Kelley will be onsite to coordinate interviews and media requests. Media with questions may contact Bethany Kelley at 843-579-8660 or

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