Once Stuck in the Pluff Mud, Sea Turtle Now Free to Swim the Deep Blue Sea after Treatment at the South Carolina Aquarium

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Loggerhead Treated at the Sea Turtle Hospital Ready for Release

Pluff, Before and After

A juvenile loggerhead sea turtle treated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program, will be released this Thursday, October 10, 2013 at the Folly Beach County Park. The public is invited to come say goodbye to “Pluff” at 4:30 p.m. The release is being held in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission (CCPRC). Attendees are encouraged to carpool, arrive early, and are reminded that parking fees apply at the county park.

More on the sea turtle being released:
Pluff, a 65-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle was found stuck in the pluff mud in a marsh on Hilton Head Island in June of this year. Upon admittance to the Sea Turtle Hospital, Pluff was very lethargic, thin and covered in barnacles. Blood tests showed an extremely low blood protein and anemia (a low level of red blood cells). Supportive care including antibiotics, vitamin injections and fluid therapy were immediately started. After just four months of care, Pluff has fully recovered and is ready to be returned to the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea turtle release details:
Who: The South Carolina Aquarium, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission
What: Sea Turtle Release open to the public
When: Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Folly Beach County Park
Why: To return Pluff, a healthy threatened sea turtle back to the ocean

How to Help:
You can help care for recovering sea turtles in the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to scaquarium.org and making a donation. You can also find more information about visiting the hospital as part of a behind-the-scenes tour now offered twice daily, seven days a week at scaquarium.org, both schedule and detailed information are available online.

For all media inquiries or to request photos or video, 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 131 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 (3 and under) free; Youth (4-12) $14.95; Adults (13+) $24.95. The Aquarium plus the 4-D Theater experience is free for Toddler’s, $19.95 for Children, $29.95 for Adults. The 4-D Theater experience only is $6.95 for Children and adults, and free for Members. 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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