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MSC to release green sea turtle

Posted On: November 29, 2018

After almost two months of rehabilitation in the Marine Science Center's turtle hospital, Nutmeg, a 44-pound juvenile green sea turtle, has made a full recovery and will return to the sea.

Staff will release the turtle at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 (pending weather and surf conditions), at the Beach Street Ramp in Ponce Inlet. The release will occur on the north side of the ramp in the no-driving zone.

Nutmeg arrived at the Marine Science Center after stranding on the beach in Wilbur-by-the Sea.

“The turtle was washed ashore and lethargic but was in decent body condition and not covered in algae and barnacles like most of the stranded turtles we see,” said Turtle Rehabilitation Manager Melissa Ranly. “He did have a healing constriction-type wound to his right rear flipper that indicated he may have been entangled in fishing line or rope at some point. The turtle also had several scratches on the bottom side of his shell, so it is likely that he was sitting in very shallow water for a while and getting scratched up on the sand and rocks near the shore.”

Fortunately, a member of the Volusia Turtle Patrol who was surveying the nests on the beach nearby found Nutmeg washed ashore and was able to quickly transport the turtle to the Marine Science Center.

Nutmeg has made a quick recovery and is healthy enough to return to his natural environment, Ranly said.

Since Jan. 1, the Marine Science Center has treated 105 sea turtles; 300 hatchlings and washbacks; and 132 other reptiles, including gopher tortoises, box turtles and freshwater turtles.

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 more information, visit www.marinesciencecenter.com or call 386-304-5545.