Two needed surgery; one displaced by hurricane
CLEARWATER, FL (Oct. 27, 2023) – After receiving rehabilitation for several weeks at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, three sea turtles have been successfully released this week, following the release of another turtle earlier this month.
Sparkler was released yesterday at Fred Howard Park. Toast and Loaf were released Monday by University of Florida Marine Animal Rescue biologists in Homosassa.
Sparkler is a juvenile, green sea turtle who was found floating offshore of Hudson on July 4. Sparkler had a severe fibropapilloma tumor on their left front flipper and minor tumors on both eyes. Those tumors were successfully removed surgically. The tumor on the left front flipper ended up weighing 0.77 pounds. Once Sparkler’s surgical sites healed, they were cleared for release by CMA staff veterinarian and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Loaf is a juvenile, Kemp’s ridley turtle who was accidentally caught by a fisherman in Spring Hill in Hernando County on Aug. 3. Radiographs at intake showed Loaf had ingested two fish hooks and both were deep in the esophagus. Due to the location of these hooks, surgery was needed to successfully remove them. Once Loaf’s surgical site healed, Loaf was cleared for release by CMA staff veterinarian and FWC.
Toast is a large, juvenile, green sea turtle who was found out of habitat in a wooded area in Dixie County on Oct. 9, possibly relocated due to Hurricane Idalia. Toast had no obvious external injuries or abnormalities and was in good body condition. All diagnostics showed that Toast was otherwise healthy and was cleared for release by CMA staff veterinarian and FWC.
In addition, earlier this month Rye, a juvenile Kemp’s ridley, was also released at Fred Howard Park, close to where they were found in the Spring Hill area.
All marine turtle footage taken in Florida was obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles. Footage was acquired while conducting authorized conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-23/24-172A.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marsha Strickhouser | mstrickhouser@CMAquarium.org | (727) 242-0770
- About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. With a mission to preserve the environment and its marine life, CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, a nurse shark and more. Through Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, CMA conducts important global research focused on protecting manatees, North Atlantic right whales and sea turtles. Major motion picture Dolphin Tale (2011) and its sequel Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) features the true stories of rescued resident dolphins Winter and Hope, inspiring millions around the world. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world. CMAquarium.org.
We believe in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; environmental education; research; and conservation.
A Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization