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November 9, 2007

Program releases two rehabilitated loggerhead turtles

The South Carolina Aquarium released two rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtles back into the ocean off of Isle of Palms Saturday, November 3.

"Cape Romain," a 275-pound adult male loggerhead, and "Lady Lisa," a 65-pound juvenile loggerhead were released after being rehabilitated at the South Carolina Aquarium.

"Cape Romain" was admitted to the Aquarium hospital in May 2007, suffering from crab trap rope entanglement injuries that cut deeply into the shoulder region of his left flipper. The flipper damage was extensive, including swelling, lack of circulation and infection, which resulted in full amputation. The turtle overcame the traumatic injury incredibly well and was ready for release last Saturday. Hundreds of sea turtles have been documented thriving in the ocean with missing limbs and biologists are confident that "Cape Romain" will adapt well. He was outfitted with a satellite transmitter, to track his migrations after release, a collaborative effort between the South Carolina Aquarium and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Marine Turtle Conservation Program.

The South Carolina Aquarium and DNR are partnering on a satellite telemetry project to track the migrations of both adult males admitted this season. The transmitters enable researchers to monitor the turtles’ daily location and diving behavior for potentially up to 2.5 years. The public can track the locations of these turtles that have been outfitted with satellite transmitters online.

"Lady Lisa" showed signs of Debilitated Turtle Syndrome when she was caught during the DNR’s In-Water Turtle Research, and was admitted to the Aquarium hospital in July 2007. Among the symptoms in this syndrome are anemia, emaciation and external parasites. Since she was caught early in the disease, "Lady Lisa" made a quick recovery. This juvenile turtle was also outfitted with a satellite transmitter.

F ind out more about DNR’s In-Water Turtle Research.

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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