Oil spill could cause problems for sea turtles
Posted: May 07, 2010 4:25 PM EDT
Updated: May 07, 2010 6:07 PM EDT
COLLIER COUNTY: Southwest Florida is one of two places in the world where sea turtles lay their eggs. The animals face enough challenges surviving in the wild and this year, the oil could make things even worse. But one two-year-old turtle is overcoming the odds.
At just two-years-old, the female loggerhead we saw is a strong swimmer within the walls of her aquarium – the place she's called home for more than a year.
"Keeping her here and letting her grow keeps her from being eaten by many different things," said Troy Frensley of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Now at around eight inches long, she's still not big enough to dive into open water - but she is ready for a larger tank.
With more room to swim and more food to eat, officials with the Conservancy say it will be more like home.
"We try to make it as natural as possible so she is going to know what she's going to do before she reaches the ocean," said Frensley.
The turtle will need to grow another 10 inches before being released back into the wild - a habitat where many turtles don't survive on their own.
In fact, over the past decade loggerhead turtle nesting has decreased from an all-time peak of 80,000 nests, to just 40,000 last year.
The battle begins before they even reach the shore.
"First of all, they have to be fit enough to make the trip, and they have to get around fishing gear, and plastic, and various types of garbage in the Gulf of Mexico," said Dave Addison, of the Conservancy.
They also have to avoid boats. Addison explained one turtle washed up just this week after colliding with one.
But this year, the animals face an even bigger challenge because they'll have to navigate through millions of gallons of oil that can coat their bodies and make the air toxic to breathe.
"This oil spill is certainly not good news for turtles or any other marine life," Addison said.
But for two-year-old turtle we met, her water is clean, her air is fresh and she's one aquarium closer to going home.
"It's always neat to take them out after they start out maybe a bit bigger than a silver dollar and turning them loose and let them make their way. That's where they're supposed to be," said Addison.
Once they're healthy enough to survive all the water throws at them.
See picture of the rescue and more...:
Rescued loggerhead sea turtle dies
The Associated Press
DESTIN, Fla. -- A 250-pound loggerhead sea turtle that was rescued has died at a marine show aquarium in north Florida.
The turtle was found Wednesday by a local fisherman who said the turtle was unable to submerge in the water. It appeared to be in distress. The turtle was examined at the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge and then transferred to the Gulfarium for more treatment.
Gulfarium trainer Rachel Cain said the turtle died on Wednesday. A necropsy to determine the cause of death is set for Thursday.
Patrick Gault, the refuge's assistant director, says the
the turtle was unable to submerge in the water. It appeared to be in distress
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/06/1616702/rescued-loggerhead-sea-turtle.html#ixzz0nI3TUKAr
turtle didn't have any oil on it and, as far as he knows, the turtle's ailment was not related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/05/06/1616702/rescued-loggerhead-sea-turtle.html#ixzz0nI3BraS9
UPDATE: Rescued sea turtle dies at Gulfarium (PHOTO GALLERY)Jeff Barker
DESTIN — A 250-pound loggerhead sea turtle that was rescued Wednesday has died at Florida’s Gulfarium.
The turtle was found Wednesday by a local fisherman who said the turtle was unable to submerge in the water. It appeared to be in distress. The turtle was examined at the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge and then taken to the Gulfarium for more treatment.
Gulfarium trainer Rachel Cain said the turtle died later Wednesday. A necropsy to determine the cause of death was set for Thursday.
Patrick Gault, the refuge’s assistant director, said the turtle’s was not related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
To see pictures of the turtle and rescue, please, click here:
Thursday, May 6 story:
DESTIN — A loggerhead sea turtle rescued Wednesday morning has been transferred to the Gulfarium.
The turtle was found by a local fisherman who said the turtle was unable to submerge in the water and appeared to be in distress. After an examination at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, the 250-pound turtle was transferred to the Gulfarium for further treatment.
"We treated him for dehydration and when we transferred him he seemed stable," said Amanda Wilkerson, executive director of the refuge.
Wilkerson said the turtle will stay at Gulfarium for a couple weeks on antibiotics. The cause of the distress could have been a number of things including pneumonia.
The sea turtle was spotted by Joey Yerkes around 7 a.m. in the gulf near Destin’s Holiday Inn. He immediately called for help.
“I was going around trying to catch some bait when I saw this sea turtle on top of the water,” Yerkes said after the rescue. “He seemed to be struggling so I called FWC and tied him to my boat until they were able to come out.”
Click here to view photos of the turtle »
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge were out in the water around 8:30 a.m. and brought the large turtle into the Coast Guard station.
“What we found was the sea turtle in distress,” said Emerald Coast Wildlife’s Patrick Gault. “It couldn’t (submerge) so we took it back to our facility and it’s waiting to be transferred.”
After loading the turtle on to Yerkes charter boat, he was transferred to shore where he was loaded up into a refuge vehicle.
“The rescue went really well,” Yerkes said. “Everybody acted quick — the turtle’s pretty lucky.”