Two rehabilitated sea turtles slated for release this weekend

Image by Flickr user timandheike

On Saturday, August 28th, the South Carolina Aquarium will release the 53rd and 54th rehabilitated patients from the S.C. Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program at the Folly Beach County Park.

Here's some background on the two turtles being released this weekend courtesy of the Sea Turtle Hospital blog:

The 100-pound loggerhead, Santos, was cold-stunned off the New England coast in the winter of ‘08 and treated for a year at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center at the University of New England. In November of ‘09, the turtle was transported to the South Carolina Aquarium to finish healing, catching a ride in a small Piper Twin Comanche with private pilot, Ronnie Santos from Mount Pleasant, SC. We are grateful for Ronnie and the East Cooper Pilot’s Association for this wonderful support!

The juvenile Kemp’s ridley, Surfer, was caught on hook and line just 4 months ago by a surf fisherman on Hilton Head, SC. Kemp’s ridleys are commonly found in near shore waters in the summertime and are prone to getting caught by recreational fishermen. Surfer underwent surgery to remove the hook that was deeply embedded in the esophagus. A hook that is left in the esophagus of a turtle in the wild can be problematic, possibly resulting in death and we congratulate all fishermen who turn these “hooked” endangered species over to the SCDNR.

Sea turtle releases often draw large crowds so it is strongly advised that if you are attending, plan for heavy traffic onto Folly Beach and especially out to the County Park. Carpool if possible, as parking may be limited. 

The release is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Folly Beach County Park, located at 1100 West Ashley Avenue.

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