Loggerhead Marinelife Center to Release Sea Turtle This Monday

WHAT: An 85.36 pound sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle (caretta caretta) will return to the wild on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. (weather and surf permitting) with help from the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) rehabilitation staff and volunteers that have cared the turtle since July 7, 2011. The public is invited to attend the sea turtle release at the beach adjacent to Loggerhead Park in Juno Beach. Pre-release procedures will begin at Loggerhead Marinelife Center at 1:30 p.m.

The photo on the left shows Tyrion upon arrival to Loggerhead Marinelife Center, while the photo on the right shows a healthy Tyrion today!

BACKGROUND: “Tyrion” (Teer-e-on) is a sub-adult loggerhead that was found by biologists working at the St. Lucie Power Plant underweight, lethargic and covered in barnacles. Patients like this with no obvious external injuries are commonly referred to as “Barnacle Bills.” The large colonies of barnacles caused a moderate amount of damage to the keratin scutes on the carapace (shell) which were monitored and treated. Tyrion’s bloodwork revealed that the turtle is anemic and hypoglycemic. Tyrion’s treatment plan included fluids, antibiotics, iron injections, vitamins and nutrition support. The turtle gained 13.9 pounds while being rehabilitated at LMC. A full patient history is available at marinelife.org/tyrion

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 Tyrion will begin at LMC (14200 US Highway One, Juno Beach) at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2011. Tyrion will be released into the wild at the beach adjacent to Loggerhead Park at 10:30 a.m. Media and the public may attend one or both events.

CONTACT: 561.627.8280, www.marinelife.org, info@marinelife.org