TAMPA, Fla., Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - On Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team, supported by Florida Blue, will return Jupiter, a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, and three juvenile green sea turtles (Canaveral, Enterprise, and Satellite) back into the Atlantic Ocean at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park on Flagler Beach in Flagler County.
The four turtles to be released include two of the most common species to Florida’s coastal waters: green and loggerhead sea turtles. Jupiter, the loggerhead sea turtle and these three green sea turtles (Canaveral, Enterprise, and Satellite) were brought to The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach earlier this year from the Volusia County Marine Science Center. These were among the first turtles to be cared for at the facility since it opened in January. All the turtles had suffered cold-stunning and other debilitating effects and were rescued on the state’s east coast.
Some of these debilitating symptoms included low red blood cell count, low blood sugar and a variety of infections. Cold-stunned turtles are unable to swim and can develop symptoms, including decreased heart rate, low blood circulation, and pneumonia. If they do not receive treatment, cold-stunned sea turtles can be susceptible to drowning, infections, predation, and boat strikes.
“While sea turtles have been in the news lately, with record numbers of nests on Southeast US coastlines, their future remains guarded. The Florida Aquarium is working tirelessly to bring attention to this issue, and we are thrilled to be able to return the loggerhead we have affectionately named Jupiter back to his home,” said Roger German, President and CEO of The Florida Aquarium, “This is challenging work and while we celebrate these happy reunions of sea turtle and ocean, we know our job is never done. We count on the support of individuals, the community and partners like Florida Blue to make these rehabilitation and release stories possible.”
The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response team worked around the clock to monitor the treatment of the sea turtles affected by cold-stunning. They were able to warm the sea turtles to slowly raise their body temperature and provided them with additional supportive medical care.
We invite the news media to join us at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park, 3100 S Ocean Shore Blvd, Flagler Beach, FL 32136 for photo and video opportunities of the sea turtles being released back into the wild, and for interview opportunities with The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team.
“Cases like Jupiter’s are always rewarding,” said Dr. Ari Fustukjian (Fuh-stook-shian), The Florida Aquarium’s Senior Staff Veterinarian. “To have an animal come in in such rough shape, and then watch them turn around and get to a place where they’re ready to get back out there, is really what rehab is all about”.
WHO: The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team
WHAT: Photo/video/interview opportunity: Jupiter, the loggerhead turtle that could! Jupiter, and three green sea turtles are heading back to the ocean.
WHEN: Thursday, July 18, 2019, 10:30 a.m. (Estimated release time) The team will be traveling from Apollo Beach, Florida starting at 7:00 a.m.
WHERE: Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area: 3100 S Ocean Shore Blvd, Flagler Beach, FL 32136
WHY: Sea turtles are a critical part of the ocean’s ecological system and play an essential role in the health of our oceans. The Florida Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Apollo Beach combines research and rehabilitation programs to give much-needed support to animals in distress or imminent danger and ecosystems faced with both natural and human-made threats.
For more information about The Florida Aquarium’s sea turtle conservation work, please visit www.flaquarium.org/apollobeach
All care and turtle rehabilitation by The Florida Aquarium is done with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles and authorized under conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-19-179.