Loggerhead Turtle Release

 

November 10, 2005...

Did you know a loggerhead sea turtle was recently released on Kiawah?  Beachwalker Park was the site of the latest release by the South Carolina Aquarium.  The juvenile loggerhead was named "Litchfield", and weighed roughly 100 pounds. The primary difference in this release over others was that Litchfield was carried into the water because his/her left front flipper does not work very well. The aquarium says s/he swims OK, but it can be a circular crawl at times and they didn't want the little (100 lbs) darlin' to get too tired too fast. 

 

The aquarium's rehabilitation program names turtles after the area where they were found, so Litchfield came to us from Litchfield Beach, SC.  It was suffering from Debilitated Turtle Syndrome (DTS) and also had a hole in its shell that was 5 centimeters deep. The lesion proved to be very stubborn in healing but the staff at the "rehab clinic" was happy to medically clear and return the turtle to its natural habitat. Litchfield was tagged on both its flippers and with a chip under its skin so that if it is ever stranded again, or if it nests and is sighted, it can be identified by officials.

 

Photos courtesy of Kelly Bragg - click on a thumbnail to view a larger version of a photo

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Getting ready to move Litchfield

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Kelly Thorvalson of the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program

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Carrying Litchfield down to the water

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Free at last!