The South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program has their first public sea turtle release of the season today at Isle of Palms .
Five loggerhead turtles, including one that was blind when admitted to the Sea Turtle Hospital, will be released today at 4:30 p.m. and the public is encouraged to be there! My good friend Jackie volunteers her time every week to the turtle rescue program at the SC Aquarium. She will be there today. Her and her team of volunteers have named the 5; Boyles, Discovery, Reece, Chaz, and Quincy. Jackie gives tours of the hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. She educates the public on the sea turtle patients and the extraordinary care that is provided to these endangered creatures. Their motto is simple…..Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release. The most common injury to the turtles is bacterial or fungal infections, shock from being exposed to cold temperatures, or injury from a boat strike or shark bite. After the sea turtle is diagnosed, they are given IV fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, and other medications. Based on the sea turtle’s condition, a variety of procedures may be performed, such as x-rays or ultrasounds. Rehabilitated sea turtles are released to hopefully become reproductive members of the sea turtle population.
SC Aquarium admits from 20 to 30 sea turtles a year, most in critical condition and some too sick to save. To date, the hospital has successfully rehabilitated and released 176 sea turtles and is currently treating 11 at an average cost of $36 a day. To respond to the growing need for specialized care of the threatened and endangered turtle species, the S.C. Aquarium will open a $5 million state-of-the-art Sea Turtle Hospital in 2017.