Hundreds of people lined up to witness the release of three loggerhead sea turtles getting another chance at life in the sea. Boomer, J.P. and Snowflake were released back into the ocean this Wednesday, Feb. 20, thanks to the dedicated rehabilitation staff and volunteers at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) in Juno Beach.
Boomer and Snowflake are loggerhead sea turtles that stranded in Cape Cod, Massachusetts cold-stunned. The sea turtles were suffering from hypothermia and were transferred to LMC to receive further treatment as facilities in the New England area were over-capacity with additional cold-stunned sea turtles. The patients received antibiotics and anti-fungal medications that help support their suppressed immune systems as well as a nutritious diet. Both of these sea turtles made a surprisingly fast turnaround and were eager to begin their journey back home.
“They are in really good shape. They have been eating a lot and gaining a lot of weight, so they’re clearly feeling better than they were up in Cape Cod,” said Dr. Charles Manire, LMC Director of Research and Rehabilitation.
J.P. was transported to LMC back in September 2012 after being accidentally hooked by a fisherman at the local fishing pier in Juno Beach. A total of four hooks were successfully removed from J.P. and the turtle made a full recovery. J.P. has been outfitted with a GPS tracking tag and can be followed on the tracking page of the center’s website. LMC hospital staff is interested in the turtle’s behavior and is curious to see if its instinct is to return to the pier again. To follow J.P’s journey, visit www.marinelife.org/track.
“It’s nice to be able to help a single animal, but to be able to help out the population as a whole, which is our main goal, is an amazing feeling, Manire said. “It’s good to see that.”