Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Preparing for a Sea Turtle Release with the South Carolina Aquarium




It was a beautiful day at Kiawah Island in South Carolina on July 26. There was hardly a cloud in the sky as teams of yellow shirt volunteers swarmed Beachwalker County Park. They were there to prepare for the release of three sea turtles who had been patients at the Sea Turtle Hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.

The excitement began to build as those playing and sunning on the beach realized they were about to witness this special event. For over an hour, over 500 people stood quietly as they waited for the arrival of the honored guests. Volunteers generously spent time talking to the crowd and answering questions about turtle rescues and nests.

Finally, the arrival of Wadmalaw, Kiawah, and Winyah created a flurry of activity and much cheering.

Wadmalaw, a Kemp's ridley, had been a patient for over two years after being caught by a fisherman.

A loggerhead, Kiawah, was lucky. She was found in March 2009 with low blood sugar and was quickly rehabilitated.

The third release, a spunky Kemp's ridley named Winyah, had been found comatose after being caught in a shrimp net last September.

Thank you volunteers and staff of the South Carolina Aquarium. This was truly a rare treat!

See you later,

Sandy Toes

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series about the recent sea turtle release. Be sure to stay tuned as Sandy Toes reveals her impressions on the release of the turtles, comments from volunteers, a special donation by a young Canadian, and a tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital.

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