CROW releases two species of sea turtles on Naples beach
Two sea turtles treated by the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife were released today.
The releases took place on Vanderbilt Beach in Naples, according to officials.
One sea turtle was a sub-adult loggerhead that was admitted to CROW on July 1. It was rescued near Keewaydin Island in Naples and was treated for brevetoxicosis, also known as red tide poisoning.
The second turtle was a juvenile Kemp’s ridley, which was admitted on July 6. It was rescued after it was accidentally reeled in by a fisherman on Fort Myers Beach. Radiographs showed that the turtle had swallowed two fishing hooks. One hook was removed using an endoscope, while the other had to be surgically removed.
“Some may wonder if it is safe to release these turtles with the current red tide conditions in our area,” CROW reported in a prepared statement. “With no end in sight to the bloom, we cannot keep them in captivity until the bloom subsides, especially with more turtles arriving that need critical care.”
“We work very closely with state officials, who monitor the blooms and forecasts of the bloom to determine a suitable location where the level of the algal organisms present are the lowest and is safe to release the turtles,” it continued. “These turtles have also been in recovery and are now strong and healthy. There is no toxin currently present in their bodies based on blood samples.”
“For the adults, this is the time of year when they are driven to nest and it is critical for the species as a whole that they be allowed to do so if at all possible,” CROW added.
All released turtles are tagged with flipper tags and passive integrated transponder tags. In conjunction with the state, they are monitored to see if they re-present at CROW or another turtle rehab facility.
“So far, we have not had any come back, including Walter,” CROW reported.
An adult male loggerhead, he was released on June 28.
“He was fitted with a satellite tag and is doing very well,” it added.
Walter’s movements, as well as the other released turtles being monitored by the Sea Turtle Conservancy, can be tracked at conserveturtles.org/sea-turtle-tracking-active-sea-turtles.