The Gulfarium’s C.A.R.E. Center successfully released three rehabilitated sea turtles on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at Perdido Key State Park, Florida.

All three sea turtles were rehabilitated at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E Center after being accidently hooked by fishermen at the Okaloosa Fishing Pier.

Scorpio was the first sea turtle to head back into the Gulf. This adult Kemp’s ridley sea turtle weighing in at 59lbs was brought to the C.A.R.E Center on 10/18/2021. Scorpio was caught with a J-hook in the esophagus and had a small J-hook in the left rear flipper. Both hooks were non-surgically removed and after some rest and recovery Scorpio was cleared for release.

Aries, a 115lb sub-adult loggerhead arrived at the center on 9/19/2021. Aries was caught with a large J-hook in the mouth that had trailing monofilament line. Aries also had a bite wound/ laceration on the front left flipper. Aries underwent surgery to remove two hooks that were seen on radiographs and was treated with antibiotics for his bite wounds. The C.A.R.E Center staff were happy Aries made a great recovery and was ready to go back in to the Gulf.

The final turtle to be released was Eva, another sub-adult loggerhead weighing 118lbs. She was brought to the C.A.R.E Center on 8/13/2021 after being caught with a J-hook in the esophagus. Eva had a severe entanglement wound with monofilament and braided line wrapped around her left front flipper causing bone exposure. Eva was also severely anemic when she arrived at the center. After weeks of antibiotic and laser therapy, Eva’s front flipper healed nicely. Once Eva was no longer anemic, she underwent surgery to remove the J-hook from her esophagus and was finally cleared for release by the Gulfarium veterinarian staff after her lengthy stay at the C.A.R.E Center.

“Release days are always extremely rewarding,” states Tabitha Siegfried, Stranding Coordinator for the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center. “All sea turtles species are endangered so any help that we can provide to these animals is crucial. Watching a critical care patient, such as Eva, improve over time and eventually be deemed releasable makes the whole C.A.R.E. Center team so happy.”