The Gulfarium's C.A.R.E. Center successfully released two rehabilitated sea turtles on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at Topsail Hill State Park, Florida.
Bindi, a sub-adult Kemp's ridley sea turtle, was hooked in the mouth at the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier on 8/4/2022. The hook was removed upon intake at the CARE Center and Bindi remained under observation until she reached a healthy weight and presented with normal blood work.
Arugula, a juvenile green sea turtle, arrived at the CARE Center on 12/27/21 after being foul hooked at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. This was Arugula's second visit here at the CARE Center with her first visit being back in 2017. Upon initial evaluation, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and her right lung was noticeably decreased in volume. Arugula also had two hooks lodged in her esophagus. After over 10 months of rehab, one surgery, multiple rounds of antibiotics, a CT scan, a scope of her lungs, and antifungals, Arugula was finally deemed healthy and ready for release.
“With Kemps ridley sea turtles being the most endangered sea turtle, it’s always so fulfilling to release one back into the ocean,” said Tabitha Siegfried, Stranding Coordinator for the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center. “However, it’s just as rewarding seeing any species of sea turtle be released! Arugula has had a long journey of recovery and we are so proud to see her eagerly return to her home. It was a special moment for the whole C.A.R.E. Center team.”
If you see a sea turtle in distress, injured, or deceased please report it to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission immediately at 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).