Sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle “Melba” has been cleared for release following 170 days of rehabilitation at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. The 86.13 pound sea turtle’s release is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, at 12:00 p.m. Pre-release procedures will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s campus, located at 14200 US Highway One in Juno Beach.
Melba was discovered by a team of biologists working at the FPL St. Lucie Power Plant. At the time of admittance, blood work revealed the turtle was anemic, dehydrated, and hypoglycemic. Melba’s treatment plan included antibiotics, fluids with dextrose, iron injections, vitamins and nutritional therapy. Since October 5th, Melba’s weight has increased 13% and the turtle’s appetite, activity level, and blood work have improved.
“Tomorrow’s sea turtle release is a special opportunity for spring breakers to learn first-hand the richness of Florida’s east coast and the importance of conserving it,” said David McClymont, Loggerhead Marinelife Center President and Chief Operating Officer. “Biologists documented 9,856 nests and 23,349 crawls on 9.8 miles of shore in Jupiter, Juno Beach, and Tequesta in 2011. That’s a nest every five feet,” exclaimed McClymont. “Sea turtle nesting season began March 1st and it remains critically important for locals and visitors to remember to keep their Lights Out when visiting the beach at night.” Last year, Loggerhead Marinelife Center biologists recorded 241 sea turtle disorientations, 55 of which were by adult turtles. Both hatchling and adult sea turtles can disorient due to any artificial lighting.
Countless supporters have clicked to watch Melba recover from all over the world via the FPL Turtle Cam which has been stationed above the turtle’s tank. More than 130 donors have “adopted” the turtle. If you are interested in further supporting Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s mission to promote conservation of Florida’s coastal ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles, please visit marinelife.org/donate or consider adopting a sea turtle patient at marinelife.org/adopt. There are many sea turtles that need your help.