Rehabbed sea turtle returns to the sea

Posted by Christine, November 2, 2011

Karsten, a rescued loggerhead sea turtle, was able to be set free in Marathon, Florida Keys, last week. This video explains about the Turtle Hospital’s history and shows Karsten swimming away at about 7:48. You can see how animated he got as soon as he could smell the water.

We visited the Turtle Hospital and participated in the release as part of the Society of Environmental Journalists post-conference tour. One of the reporters filed this account of the turtle’s release. He was found with two fishhooks embedded, one in her mouth and one in her esophagus. Veterinarian Doug Mader was able to remove the fishhooks, but the turtle then had lockjaw and was unable to eat.  Hospital staff members fed her squid for five months, prying open his mouth, until he recovered and was able to eat on his own. The evidence of success was when he was presented with a live lobster and stalked and caught it.

NOAA’s report on the Keys:

NOAA scientists have found that pressure from increasing coastal populations, ship and boat groundings, marine debris, poaching, and climate change are critically threatening the health of the Florida Keys ecosystem. Many historically abundant marine resources such as green sea turtles and coral habitat continue to be at risk with low rates of recovery.