Two Loggerhead Turtles Return to the Ocean After Recovering from Injuries in Florida

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Samantha Mendoza

In a joyful conclusion to two stories that could have ended tragically, Cayman and Finley returned home this Monday after recovering from their injuries at a marine life center in South Florida. The two loggerhead turtles were released back into their natural habitat in the Atlantic Ocean after rehabilitating at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, where they arrived with injuries from separate incidents.

The crowd present during their release on Monday morning cheered and applauded excitedly as the turtles slowly made their way across the sand towards the sea. Dr. Heather Barron, a veterinarian and scientific director at the research center, explained to the AP news agency that Cayman was brought there on February 6 because her left front flipper had become entangled with a fishing line. The turtle's condition required surgery to remove necrotic tissue and bone from the flipper.

“We went in and cleaned all that out surgically. And she has done very well. She has recovered wonderfully from the surgery. Now you can't even see the scar,” Barron emphasized.

On April 27, Finley arrived at the marine center with a fishing hook embedded in her shoulder. According to Dr. Barron, the fishing device “came out very easily.” However, she cautioned that “one should never underestimate the capability of a dirty hook to cause a really nasty infection.” Finley was treated with antibiotics.

The turtles were released on the beach directly in front of the research center, located north of West Palm Beach, in an emotional and celebratory ceremony. “It's always a beach party,” stated Andy Dehart, the president and CEO of Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Dehart mentioned that the staff always gets excited about returning sea turtles to their habitat. “Seeing them go back to the ocean is the best part of our job,” he assured.

Loggerhead Turtles Release: Key Questions Answered

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the release of the loggerhead turtles, Cayman and Finley, after their recovery.

What injuries did Cayman and Finley sustain?

Cayman had her left front flipper entangled with a fishing line, requiring surgery to remove necrotic tissue and bone. Finley had a fishing hook embedded in her shoulder.

Where were the turtles rehabilitated?

Both turtles were rehabilitated at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, South Florida.

How were the injuries treated?

Cayman underwent surgery to clean out necrotic tissue and bone from her flipper, while Finley's hook was removed easily, and she was treated with antibiotics to prevent infection.

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