Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Released on Kiawah

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August 13, 2007...

The South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program released a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle on August 13, 2007 from Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island.  The aquarium names turtles after the area where they were found, so Folly came to us from Folly Beach, SC.  The juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtle (Lepicochelys kempii) weighed just over 4 pounds, and was caught hook and line by a fisherman on Folly Beach fishing pier July 13, 2007.  South Carolina Aquarium staff arrived just in time to rescue Folly and bring him to the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital.

During its rehabilitation at the Sea Turtle Hospital, Folly was treated with antibiotics and vitamins. Recent blood work provided hospital staff with a healthy diagnosis, demonstrating Folly's positive response to the medical care and deeming him releasable.

Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are predominantly found in the Gulf coast but are known to migrate along the Eastern coast of the United States. DuBose Griffin, South Carolina Marine Turtle Program Coordinator, says that when fisherman catch a sea turtle on hook and line, they should remove the turtle from the water using a dip net and not use the monofilament line. If the turtle is not seriously hooked (such as the flipper or beak) then remove the hook. Otherwise, do not attempt to remove the hook or cut the fishing line to release the turtle. This could possibly result in the death of the sea turtle.  If the turtle has swallowed the hook or is seriously injured, please call the SCDNR Hotline (1-800-922-5431), so the turtle can be picked up by the Marine Turtle Conservation Program staff and transported to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program.  For more information, please visit the aquarium's website at


Photos courtesy of Kelly Bragg - click on a thumbnail to view a larger version of a photo. photo.
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Onlookers learn about sea turtles A crowd gathers for the arrival of the "celebrity" Kelly Thorvalson of the SC Aquarium escorts the sea turtle
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A volunteer allows Folly to show off Kelly speaks to the crowd about sea turtle rescue efforts Folly meets his admirers

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