Celebrate the End of Summer with a South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program Sea Turtle Release

The Public Is Invited to Bid Farewell to Two Sea Turtles August 6, 2014

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South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program

Charleston, SC (PRWEB) August 04, 2014

Two sea turtles rehabilitated by the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program are ready to return to the deep blue sea. The public is invited to say goodbye to Bay, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, and Mitchel, a loggerhead sea turtle, on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Isle of Palms County Park. 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 should plan to carpool, arrive early (County Park gate opens at 9am), and expect to pay for parking at the county park.

More about Bay:
Bay, an 11-pound juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, was accidentally caught by a fisherman at the Edisto Beach State Park fishing pier in June of this year. Bay swallowed the fishing hook and was quickly transported to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program where veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan surgically removed the hook from Bay’s esophagus. Had the fisherman simply cut the line leaving the hook in Bay’s throat, the endangered turtle could have died. After surgery, Bay received antibiotics, vitamins, and a healthy diet of assorted fish. After three months of care, Bay is fully healed and ready to return to the Atlantic Ocean.

More about Mitchel:
Mitchell, a 65-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, was found stranded in the pluff mud on Hilton Head Island in May of this year. Mitchel was found entangled in a fishing rig, malnourished, anemic and covered in barnacles. Upon admission to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program, Michel was in a dangerous state of decline. The fishing line, weight, and hook were all removed, and Rescue Program staff administered fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, and a healthy diet. With a clean bill of health, Mitchell has been swimming around his/her tank and is enjoying a healthy diet in preparation for the trip back into the open ocean.

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.

More on the sea turtle release:
Who: The South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program and the CCPRC
What: Public sea turtle release
When: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 10 a.m.
Where: Isle of Palms County Park, Isle of Palms, S.C.
Why: To return an endangered Kemp’s ridley and a threatened loggerhead sea turtle back into the wild

More on how to help:
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 in the South Carolina Aquarium 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.

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 139 sea turtles and is currently treating 8 patients. The average cost for each patient’s treatment is $35 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: Toddlers (2 and under) free; Youth (3-12) $17.95; Adults (13+) $24.95. The Aquarium plus the 4-D Theater experience is free for Toddlers, $22.95 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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