A Chance to Celebrate the Lives of Two Very Special Sea Turtles at the Next Sea Turtle Release with the South Carolina Aquarium

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After months of rehab, loggerheads are ready to hit the open ocean on Endangered Species Day.

Sea Turtle Rescue Program

Mark your calendar for this Friday, May 18th. At 3:00 p.m. sharp the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program will be releasing two loggerhead sea turtles back into the wild. Brought into the hospital on the brink of death, these two resilient turtles have made a full recovery. This release is being held in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC). The event is open to the public; attendees should plan to carpool, arrive early, and expect to pay for parking at the County Park.

More on the sea turtles being released:
Jammer: Jammer is a 93-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle. S/he was rescued on the Isle of Palms near the Windjammer beach bar in April of last year. When brought into the hospital by SCDNR, Jammer was in extremely debilitated suffering from emaciation, dehydration, and had a heart rate of only 7 beats per minute. Upon admittance, there was concern that Jammer had neurological damage because s/he was swimming in circles in the same direction, but after several weeks of intensive care, Jammer began swimming normally. Treatment included antibiotics, fluids, vitamin injections, barnacle removal and treatment for shell damage due to secondary infection. After more than a year of treatment, Jammer is finally ready for the journey back into the Atlantic Ocean.

Hamlin Creek: Hamlin Creek is a 75-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle found in Hamlin Creek, also located on the Isle of Palms. S/he was rescued in June of last year suffering from severe dermatitis, dehydration, and had poor blood work. Treatment for Hamlin Creek included fluids, vitamin injections, and antibiotics. Since being admitted to the Sea Turtle Hospital, Hamlin Creek has gained weight and his/her skin has fully healed. Feisty and healthy, Hamlin Creek is ready to venture back into the open ocean.

Turtle Release Details:

  • Two patients being released
  • May 18, 2012
  • 3:00 p.m.
  • Isle of Palms County Park, Isle of Palms, S.C.
  • Arrive early to get parking and avoid lines (parking fees apply)
  • Visitors are encouraged to carpool!

It costs approximately $36 per day to treat each sea turtle in the hospital, which amounts to a program budget of close to $321,000 each year. The Sea Turtle Rescue Program is part of the South Carolina Aquarium, a 501(c)3 non-profit that relies on the support of the community to treat and rehabilitate these endangered species. You can help support the program by making a donation and by visiting the hospital on a behind-the-scenes tour. Just go to http://www.scaquarium.org for more information. With your support, staff can continue to rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles found along our coast.

Friday’s release is actually taking place on Endangered Species Day. The Sea Turtle Rescue Program is just one of the many ways the Aquarium is committed to protecting South Carolina’s wildlife, fish, and plants at risk of extinction.

For all media inquiries, please contact Kate Dittloff at (843) 579-8660 or kdittloff(at)scaquarium(dot)org

About the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program:
In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program works to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles that strand along the South Carolina coast. Located in the Aquarium, the Sea Turtle Hospital admits 20 to 30 sea turtles each year. Many of these animals are in critical condition and some are too sick to save.

According to SCDNR, over the last 10 years the average number of sea turtle standings on South Carolina beaches each year is 130. Of these, roughly 10% are alive and successfully transported to the Sea Turtle Hospital. To date, the South Carolina Aquarium has successfully rehabilitated and released 90 sea turtles and is currently treating 6 patients. The average cost for each patient’s treatment is $36 a day with the average length of stay reaching nine months.

About the South Carolina Aquarium:
The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s most visited attraction, features thousands of amazing aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in more than 60 exhibits representing the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Dedicated to promoting education and conservation, the Aquarium also presents fabulous views of Charleston harbor and interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.

The South Carolina Aquarium, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is open Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day, half day Dec. 24 (open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Dec. 25. Admission prices are: Toddler’s (1 and under) free; Youth (2-11) $12.95; Adults (12-61) $19.95; Seniors (62+) $18.95. The Aquarium plus the 4-D Theater experience is free for Toddler’s, $17.95 for Children, $24.95 for Adults, and $23.95 for Seniors. The 4-D Theater experience only is $6.95 for Children, Adults and Seniors and $2.95 for Members and Member Guests. Military, senior, college and group discounts are available. For more information call 843-720-1990 or visit scaquarium.org. Memberships are available by calling 843-577-FISH.

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Kate Dittloff
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