RELEASED: April 5, 2017
In early December 2016, a mass cold stun event occurred off the coast of Massachusetts, and many Loggerhead and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were rescued by the New England Aquarium. Sea turtles are ectothermic, meaning they are “cold blooded” or that the external temperature helps to regulate their internal body functions. So, extreme drops in water temperature can drastically weaken a turtle and make it sick.
Rehabilitation at Clearwater Marine Aquarium
In order to continue to triage the incoming cold-stunned turtles, many were transferred to other facilities to continue their rehabilitation, including Clearwater Marine Aquarium. One of those turtles was Theodore, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle who had stranded on December 11 in Dennis, Barnstable County, MA. Theodore was flown to CMA via private jet along with loggerheads Alvin and Simon. Upon arrival to the aquarium, Theodore was triaged and treated for cold stun, given vitamins, antibiotics, hydration, and cold laser therapy to treat a healing wound on top of his head.
Recovery and Release on the East Coast
Following initial triage, Theodore began making a slow but steady recovery. He had a very healthy appetite and never had any problems finishing off a meal. After about 3.5 months at CMA, he has been cleared for release by our veterinarian and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). Theodore was released April 5 at Canaveral National Seashore on Florida’s east coast at 11:00 a.m. We wish Theodore the best of luck back out in the ocean!
Watch video of the release below