Cold Stunned Sea Turtle Treated at the South Carolina Aquarium Now Swimming the Warm Waters of the Atlantic Ocean

South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program Releases 135th Rescued Sea Turtle

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South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program

Charleston, SC (PRWEB) June 09, 2014

It is a happy ending for a small sea turtle found lifeless in a Lowcountry saltmarsh. This past January a family found Amelia, a 10-pound juvenile green sea turtle, cold and lethargic in a marsh on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The family jumped into action and called the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources who brought the turtle to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program.

At the time of the stranding, air temperatures were below freezing and coastal water temperatures were approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures far too cold for a cold-blooded juvenile sea turtle. Amelia arrived at the Sea Turtle Hospital with a body temperature of 46.5 degrees F, a heart rate of four beats per minute and was not breathing on her own. Staff slowly warmed the turtle, assisted with its breathing, and administered fluids and medications. Now, just six months later, Amelia has returned to the ocean. Amelia was released off of Kiawah Island Friday afternoon, June 6, 2014.

For video of the release: https://Cloud.scaquarium.org/urlzivcq2
For photos of the release: https://Cloud.scaquarium.org/url5ioiza

You too can help threatened and endangered sea turtles. If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the SCDNR sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431. You can also help care for sea turtles in recovery at the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to scaquarium.org and making a donation and by visiting the South Carolina Aquarium and booking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital.

To track the progress of current patients in recovery, visit our Sea Turtle Rescue Program blog at scaquarium.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates from the hospital, including public sea turtle release details.

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 133. 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 135 sea turtles and is currently treating 5 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 (2 and under) free; Youth (3-12) $17.95; 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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