Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center releases nine rehabilitated sea turtles back into Gulf of Mexico
INLET BEACH — Staff members of the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center released nine rehabilitated sea turtles back into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday morning.
The nine turtles ranged from 7.5 pounds to 198 pounds, and included three species: loggerhead, green and Kemp's ridley.
All nine turtles recovered at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center after being accidentally hooked at nearby fishing piers and required hook and entanglement removal procedures.
Previous turtle release: Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center releases six sea turtles at Henderson Beach State Park
"We were happy to see that Jaime, an adult female loggerhead weighing in at 189 pounds needed just a short stay with us, as she is of breeding age, so getting her back out into the Gulf of Mexico to potentially mate and lay a nest is what makes our efforts come full circle,” said Tabitha Siegfried, stranding coordinator at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center.
The center's team expects this season to continue to be a busy one for sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release.
A large crowd was on hand for Tuesday's releases and watched the turtles make their way back into the Gulf of Mexico.
“Although the release site, Inlet Beach, was a bit farther away from our home base than the last release, we still had a good crowd of spectators,” said Patrick Berry, director of the center. “Sharing these moments with our supporters will never get old and is a rewarding part of what we do here at the C.A.R.E. Center — public awareness, education and involvement.”
To report a distressed, injured or dead sea turtle, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission immediately at 1-888-404-FWCC (1-888-404-3922).
To learn more about sea turtles and the center's rehabilitation efforts, follow the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center Facebook page.
The nonprofit Gulfarium CARE Foundation acts as a beacon for coastal conservation through marine animal rescue and rehabilitation. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online on the C.A.R.E. Center's page.