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Green sea turtle finds recovery at CROW to its liking

By Staff | Apr 22, 2015

Charlie LaBuff, a longtime Sanibel resident and friends with Ralph Woodring, checks out the juvenile Green Turtle CROW brought out to Woodring’s property to be released after being cared for the last two weeks. BRIAN WIERIMA

A green sea turtle, which was found entangle in a shrimper roller net, was released back home off of San Carlos Bay near Sanibel Friday, after a two-week recovery at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW).

The immature green turtle was aged approximately 8 to 10 years old by the CROW veterinarian staff, sustained lacerations on the bottom of its shell, especially near one of its’ back legs, while also having superficial cuts on the front flipper.

Ralph Woodring of Sanibel discovered the juvenile green turtle and called SCCF, which brought it to CROW.

It was 27 centimeters long, 21 centimeters wide and weighed approximately five pounds.

“Fortunately, the lacerations were not too deep and did not get up in its inner-cavity,” said CROW DVM intern Molly Lien. “We were able to do more supportive care, like giving antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. We didn’t have to do and surgical repair or anything like that.”

The CROW staff named the juvenile Green Turtle “Nolani”, which means “beautiful”. BRIAN WIERIMA

The green turtle was kept inside in a shallow pool of water after it was brought in the first night, but was able to be transferred outside to the hospital’s large turtle tanks for the remainder of its’ stay.

“By day three or four, she was starting to eat well, like squid pieces and greens (lettuce),” Lien said. “When she became more buoyant and didn’t have to sit on her wounds, she healed much quicker.”

The green turtle was released on Woodring’s property, which is on San Carlos Bay. It was the first release of a sea turtle this year by CROW and another one is pending in the near future. The CROW staff named the sea turtle “Nolani”, which means “beautiful”.

If the green sea turtle would not have been brought in, the threat of infection would have increased exponentially.

“It definitely benefitted from the medication,” Lien said. “Infection was the number one thing we treated her for and we made sure there were not internal injuries by giving her an X-ray.”

Ralph Woodring releases a juvenile Green Turtle, after its two-week stay at CROW. Woodring found the Green Turtle wrapped in a shrimp roller net two weeks ago, and was given the honors to release it to bring the journey full circle Friday. BRIAN WIERIMA

The green turtle was fitted with two metal identifying tags on its front flippers, as well a microchip. CROW and the Florida Fish and Wildlife will scan for microchips and look for tags on any injured or dead sea turtles which are found.

Lien, who has been interning with CROW since Jan. 1 of this year, said being able to see the release of the green sea turtle is worth all the work put into its recovery.

“It feels great, any release is so rewarding,” Lien said. “It’s nice get to see the whole thing through. It’s just awesome and very rewarding.”