Two Times the Love this Valentine’s Day for Two Lucky Sea Turtles Rehabilitated at the South Carolina Aquarium

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Bulls Bay and Mini Ming are going home!

It is a big day for two rescued sea turtles successfully rehabilitated at the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Bulls Bay, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, and Mini Ming, a juvenile green sea turtle, are being released back into the ocean today. Both sea turtles were admitted to the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program last year with a variety of illnesses. Earlier this week, staff veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan medically cleared both turtles just in time for a Coast Guard cutter to release them in the Gulf Stream off of North Carolina.

More on the sea turtles being released:
Bulls Bay: Bulls Bay, a 57-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle was brought to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital in June of last year. S/he was caught in the nets of a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) research vessel and was found to be thin, lethargic, have very poor blood work and a minor wound near the eye. Treatment for Bulls included antibiotic and vitamin injections, wound treatment, and fluid therapy. Bulls Bay is now back to optimal heath and ready to be released into the open ocean.
Mini Ming: Mini Ming is one of the smaller patients treated at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital weighing just under 5-pounds. Mini Ming was brought to the Aquarium in October of 2012 after s/he was found floating at Mingo Point on Kiawah Island. In addition to being positively buoyant, s/he was dehydrated and lethargic. Treatment included antibiotics, fluids, and injectable vitamins. Now healthy, Mini Ming’s energy level indicates s/he is ready to return to the Atlantic Ocean.

The two sea turtles were transferred to North Carolina on Wednesday and are being loaded onto the Coast Guard cutter Block Island this morning. The crew from Block Island will release Bulls Island and Mini Ming along with 39 other turtles from North Carolina, in the Gulf Stream where turtles their species and size currently reside. The South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program has successfully rehabilitated and released 102 sea turtles to date.

How to Help:
You can help care for sea turtles in recovery at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital by going to http://www.scaquarium.org and making a donation. While online you can also visit the Sea Turtle Hospital’s blog at http://seaturtlehospital.blogspot.com/ to track the progress of patients currently being cared for at the hospital. You can also find out more about visiting the hospital as part of a behind-the-scenes tour.

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 102 sea turtles and is currently treating 23 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 5 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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