WATCH: Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center Releases Skipper and Ginny Back Into the Ocean
By Space Coast Daily // June 22, 2018
skipper found in February after being hit by boat
ABOVE VIDEO: On Thursday afternoon Ginny, who was found washed up on the shore in Melbourne Beach in early May with buoyancy issues and Skipper, who was spotted by a beachgoer in Port Canaveral where she was floating near a marina after being struck by a boat, were released to the delight of staffers and beachgoers. (Video by Brevard Zoo)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Thanks to Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center, two more green sea turtles are back in the ocean.
On Thursday afternoon at Hangar’s Beach near Patrick Air Force Base, Ginny, who was found washed up on the shore in Melbourne Beach in early May with buoyancy issues and Skipper, who was spotted by a beachgoer in Port Canaveral where she was floating near a marina after being struck by a boat, were released back into their natural habitat to the delight of staffers and beachgoers.
Ginny was admitted to the center back on May 3 and her first ‘patient report’ stated,”Ginny has a lot of gas in her GI tract. She floats despite trying so hard to dive in the water.
Despite her floating issue, she is eating very well. We’re hoping once that gas is out of her GI, she’ll no longer float.”
Ginny progressed nicely was taken off he medications on June 9 and when her bloodwork came back with good results on June 20 was scheduled for Thursday’s release.
Skipper had a longer to travel to get back to the sea as she was admitted on February 23 with her injuries after being struck by a boat.
The staff found that Skipper had a fracture on her carapace (upper hard shell) and some of the bones were misaligned. However, everyone was confident they could fix her carapace and treated the wounds with honey.
She wasn’t floating at the time but Skipper was eating algae.
In mid-March, the staff reported that Skipper was eating very well and her CT scan showed no openings into the body cavity and only a slightly bruised lung.
Apparently, Skipper was the type of patient that doesn’t like hospitals. Not realizing she was injured, she was “very active” and “didn’t like being pulled for treatments.”
Skipper continued to heal nicely and was placed with a tank mate, Sadie, in early May. Skipper and Saddie were very interactive with each other, which the staffers noted, “doesn’t usually happen,” with sea turtles.
She continued to progress with her wounds healing nicely and was removed from her medications on May 26.
Skipper’s bloodwork came back clean last week which set the stage for her release at Hangar Beach Thursday afternoon.
Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center opened its 2,400-square-foot operation in April 2014 and includes two separate holding facilities with a total of 12 tanks ranging in size from six to 20 feet.
Patients are brought to the Center for a variety of reasons—they may be recovering from a boat strike, interaction with human debris such as fishing line or plastic, or debilitation.
In addition to providing much-needed rest, experienced staff and dedicated volunteers use a combination of medication, surgeries, and nutritious food to nurse the turtles back to health and, ideally, return them to the ocean, which is the hope for Guacamole.
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