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#07-227 August 20, 2007

DNR biologists, Law Enforcement rescue Murrells Inlet loggerhead

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement received a call Aug. 12 at about 11 a.m. that a possible injured loggerhead turtle was sighted in Murrells Inlet near Capt. Dicks Marina. Region 4 Law Enforcement Officer Maurice Pruitt responded and found a debilitated loggerhead turtle.

Pruitt immediately contacted biologists with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marine Turtle Conservation Program who in turn contacted South Carolina Aquarium biologists. Pruitt stood watch over the animal until biologists arrived on the scene.

The turtle was transported to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital in Charleston forLoggerhead caught in Charleston harbor rehabilitation. Initial reports indicate the juvenile turtle suffers from what is known as Debilitated Turtle Syndrome. It’s an illness that affects many juvenile loggerheads along our coast, one that the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Team often treats. The loggerhead turtle is expected to take three to four months for a full recovery. The release date will be delayed due to colder water temperatures and is expected sometime in spring 2008.

Help track sea turtles by submitting your turtle sighting. As of mid-August this year there have been 67 sea turtle strandings reported in South Carolina.

Some "Dos" and "Don'ts" in regard to sea turtles and what the public can do to help:

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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