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MSC - Turtle release

Event Date(s)

Begins: March 13, 2019 11:00 am
Ends: March 13, 2019 11:10 am

After months of rehabilitation at the Marine Science Center turtle hospital, two juvenile green sea turtles will return to the sea Wednesday.

Staff plans to release Bergamot and Habanero at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, at the Beach Street Ramp in Ponce Inlet. The release, which is dependent on weather and surf conditions, will occur on the north side of the ramp in the no-driving zone. Paid beach parking is available on the south side of the ramp, tide permitting. Guests can also park at the Marine Science Center and walk to the beach.

Local beachgoers discovered Bergamot stranded upside down in New Smyrna Beach on Nov. 27. Bergamot was transported by members of the New Smyrna Beach Turtle Trackers for treatment at the Marine Science Center. The seven-pound juvenile sea turtle was underweight and encrusted with barnacles. It also had a low body temperature and predatory wounds to the head, neck and rear flippers. 

On Dec. 28, Habanero was found stranded in New Smyrna Beach. The 11-pound juvenile green sea turtle was covered in algae and barnacles, lethargic and missing the left front flipper.

Treatment included antibiotics, vitamin injections and fluids with electrolytes. The turtles were also started on a diet based on their body weight. Both have made a full recovery.

The Marine Science Center is open to the public at 100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet. Visitors may view the turtle hospital and walk through a marine display area and seabird rehabilitation center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information, visit www.marinesciencecenter.com or call 386-304-5545.

Photo: Bergamot after treatment