COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) released two healthy sea turtles Friday in Collier County after spending some time at the clinic recovering from injuries.
The first of the two turtles was a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle which was admitted to CROW on July 1. It was rescued near Keewaydin Island in Naples and was treated for brevetoxicosis, or red tide poisoning.
The second turtle is a juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle which was admitted on July 6. It was rescued after it was accidentally reeled in by a fisherman. Radiographs of the turtle showed it had swallowed two fishing hooks. One hook was able to be removed using an endoscope while the other had to be surgically removed.
Some people may also ask if it is safe to release the turtles with the bloom still ongoing. CROW has released the following statement on that subject:
“That’s a great question. With no end in sight to the bloom we cannot keep them in captivity until the bloom subsides, especially with more turtles arriving that need critical care. We work very closely with state officials who monitor the blooms and forecasts of the bloom to determine a suitable location where the level of the algal organisms present are the lowest and is safe to release the turtles. These turtles have also been in recovery and are now strong and healthy. There is no toxin currently present in their bodies based on blood samples. For the adults, this is the time of year when they are driven to nest and it is critical for the species as a whole that they be allowed to do so if at all possible. All turtles are tagged with flipper tags and passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and, in conjunction with the state, are monitoring to see if they re-present at our facility or another sea turtle rehab facility. So far, we have not had any come back, including Walter, an adult male loggerhead released on June 28. He was fitted with a satellite tag and is doing very well. His movements can be tracked HERE."