(Clearwater, Florida, USA) January 13, 2005 . . . . .It’s a great start to the New Year for three rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Mitch, Lori and Baker were returned to their home in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico today.
At 9 AM they began to gather at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach which played host to the event. Aquarium staffers and about 200 interested well wishers milled about in expectation of the arrival of the 3 rescued turtles, see photos Animal Broadcast Network: Loggerhead Turtles
“We’re always excited when we can return an animal to its natural environment,” said Glenn Harman, Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Director of Animal Programs. “We exist for that very purpose, and it is very rewarding when we get to fulfill our mission.”
The three loggerheads, a threatened species
, had been rescued by CMA, and subsequently rehabilitated over the past several months. Mitch, a sub-adult, was found floating off Indian Shores Beach in May of 2004. He was rescued by Harman who spotted him and swam out to assist the young sea turtle. After a round of antibiotics, Mitch is eating well and like all youngsters full of energy.
Lori, also a sub-adult, was rescued off Historic Anclote Key. Found floating and with a bad list by a passing boater last October she had substantial algae growth on her carapace which was treated successfully with antibiotics. Lori has a healthy appetite and will thrive in her natural habitat.
The third rescued turtle released today was Baker. Baker was caught by a fisherman near Ft. DeSoto Park in October 2004, Baker had to have a hook removed from his throat and despite the close call has completely recovered.
Currently, CMA has about fifty animals in its care. It maintains a permanent residence for seventeen sea turtles of various species, four North American river otters, and three Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The remaining animals are in treatment and rehabilitation.