Two Sub-adult Loggerhead Sea Turtles Found off Palm Beach Badly Injured by Human Impacts to be Released Tuesday
WHAT: Two sub-adult loggerhead sea turtles (caretta caretta) will return to the wild on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. (weather and surf permitting) with help from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) rehabilitation staff and volunteers that have cared for both turtles since July 2011. Sharing the same species, life stage and month of arrival, is not all “Rodeo” and “Ziko” (zee-co) have in common. They were both found off the shore of Palm Beach Island badly injured by fisheries interactions. The public is invited to attend the joint releases of Rodeo and Ziko into the wild beachside at Loggerhead Park in Juno Beach.
BACKGROUND: “Rodeo” is a 146.85 pound sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle that was found offshore on July 31, 2011 near the Breaker’s Reef with a long piece of high test monofilament protruding from its mouth. Radiographs revealed a large circle fishing hook in the esophagus. The hook was surgically removed and the sutures remained in place for five weeks. Rodeo’s treatment plan included antibiotics, pain medication, vitamins and good nutrition until the turtle fully recovered. Read a full patient history at marinelife.org/rodeo.
“Ziko” is a 91.41 pound sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle that was found off the shore of Palm Beach Island on July 17, 2011 on a reef with fishing line and a metal leader protruding from its mouth. Radiographs revealed two fishing hooks in the esophagus and another leader in the lower portion of the digestive tract. The monofilament and hooks were surgically removed and the sutures remained in place for six weeks. Ziko’s treatment plan included antibiotics, pain medication, fluids, vitamins and nutritional support until the turtle fully recovered. Read a full patient history at marinelife.org/ziko.
LOCAL FACTS: LMC biologists recorded 10,777 loggerhead sea turtle nests along 9.5 miles of beach on Juno Beach, Jupiter and Tequesta in 2011, compared with 8,194 loggerhead nests in the same area in 2010. In 2011, loggerheads laid an average of 102 eggs per nest with approximately 42 hatchlings emerging per nest. Of the 172 sea turtles admitted to the LMC hospital last year, 42 were loggerhead sea turtles.
ABOUT: Listed as Threatened under the U.S. Federal Endangered Species Act; Most common sea turtle in Florida; Named for its large head; Powerful jaws crush mollusks, crabs and encrusting animals attached to reefs and rocks; Adults weigh 200 to 350 pounds and measure about three feet in length; Nest in Florida from late April to September; Survival in Florida threatened by fisheries interactions, loss of nesting beaches, and beach lighting.
WHEN: Preparations to release Rodeo and Ziko will begin at LMC (14200 US Highway One, Juno Beach) at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Rodeo and Ziko will be released into the wild on the beach at Loggerhead Park at 4:00 p.m. Media and the public may attend one or both events.
CONTACT: Brittany Jo Miller, Sr. Coord., Marketing & Communications, 561.627.8280 extension 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org