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SCCF Releases Loggerhead Rehabbed by CROW

September 18, 2020

On Sept. 15, SCCF’s sea turtle team released a loggerhead that was rehabilitated by the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) over the past month. 

“We are grateful for our partnership with CROW and that community cooperation is so amazing on our islands in protecting our coastal wildlife. A Sanibel police officer alerted us to this sea turtle in need of rescue in August,” said Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan. 

On Aug. 18, SCCF’s turtle team rescued a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, weighing 110 pounds, from the surf near Beach Access #5 on Sanibel as it was washing ashore. 

The turtle was missing its right front flipper, but this appeared to be an older injury that had already healed. Veterinarians at CROW performed a full exam including bloodwork and radiographs. The turtle was found to be moderately to severely dehydrated and undernourished and had copious amounts of barnacles on its shell, underside, and mouth.

CROW is the only licensed sea turtle rehabilitator on the west coast between Sarasota and the Florida Keys.

The veterinary team provided the turtle with subcutaneous fluids, iron and B12 supplements, and antibiotics to treat any lingering infection that may have been present from the traumatic injury to its flipper. It was then transferred to an outdoor rehab tank filled with freshwater, which helps with hydration and kills off barnacles growing on the shell. The water was transitioned to brackish water and then pool salt was used to gradually match the salinity of seawater.

Prior to Tuesday’s release, the loggerhead had regained its strength and put on enough weight, after eating a lot of fish and blue crab, to swim strongly into the surf and back out to sea. With SCCF’s assistance on many rescues, CROW hospital typically admits 12 to 20 sub-adult or adult turtles a year and dozens of hatchlings.

Thanks to SCCF Volunteer Cheri Hollis and CROW’s intern for capturing these photos of the release. To report any issues with nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings, please call our Sea Turtle Hotline: 978-728-3663. 


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