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October 19, 2007

Sea turtle rescue program releases adult male turtle

The South Carolina Aquarium released its first rehabilitated adult male loggerhead sea turtle into the Atlantic from Folly Beach County Park on Oct. 13. Named “Edisto,” the 310-pound loggerhead sea turtle was rescued this past May by the Edisto Beach Fire Department with the help of Edisto residents.

Edisto was first spotted floating in the water off Sullivan’s Island in early May, but despite efforts of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and South Carolina Aquarium staff, it could not beEdisto being prepared rescued initially. Eventually, the sea turtle made its way to Edisto Beach, was rescued and transported to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital for treatment and care. Edisto sustained injuries from a crab trap rope entangled around its left, rear flipper. The rope was imbedded in the flipper, cutting to the bone, and the tip of the flipper was missing.

The public can track the locations of these two turtles, as well as additional adult male loggerheads and juvenile loggerheads DNR and other collaborators have satellite tagged online.

Find out more DNR Marine Turtle Conservation Program.

During its rehabilitation at the Sea Turtle Hospital, Edisto had radiographs and was treated with IV fluids, antibiotics injections, pain medication and vitamins. The sea turtle also received flipper wound treatment. Edisto fully recovered from its injury and recent blood work provided hospital staff with a healthy diagnosis, demonstrating positive response to the medical care and deeming him releasable.
Edisto, as well as a fellow patient, injured adult male loggerhead sea turtle, "Cape Romain," came to the South Carolina Aquarium's Turtle Hospital in May, just after mating season, and were both reproductively active when they arrived. Adult males are rarely seen animals as unlike females, they never return to the beaches. As the first adult male loggerhead sea turtles ever to be treated in the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital, their four-month stay has allowed researchers an extremely rare chance to study their reproductive efforts. 

The South Carolina Aquarium and DNR partnered on a satellite telemetry project to track the migrations of both adult males admitted this season. Tim Night’s company “Boat Heaters” out of Edisto, sponsored the satellite-tracking end of the financial commitment. Edisto is the first adult male to be satellite tagged and released on the coast of South Carolina.

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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