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Longboat Key Thursday, Apr. 15, 2010 7 years ago

Rehabilitated turtle will be released tomorrow

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

A 21-pound juvenile green sea turtle that has been a patient at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Hospital for nearly a year will be released between 9 and 9:30 a.m. tomorrow near the lifeguard tower at Lido Beach.

The turtle, who has been nicknamed Fisher, was brought to Mote June 30, 2009, after stranding during rough surf on Siesta Key. He responded well to medical care, fluids and an appropriate diet but had an infection that required antibiotics through mid-March. After the infection healed, Fisher needed a healthy tan because his long hospital stay left his skin and shell light-colored, which could have posed a problem in the wild.

“Green sea turtles can lighten up dramatically is they stay out of direct sunlight, and that leaves them vulnerable to sunburn,” said Lynne Byrd, Mote’s animal care coordinator, in a prepared statement. “We like to give them a little base tan before they go back to sea.”

After Fisher is released, 19 patients will remain at Mote’s Sea Turtle Hospital — nearly double its normal capacity. Nine turtles have fibropapilloma tumors, and several turtles stunned by January’s cold temperatures are still in need of care.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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