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Bubba the loggerhead sea turtle in his tank.

Editor’s Note: Bubba’s release has been rescheduled to Wednesday, July 10 at 4 p.m. at Lori Wilson Park due to thunderstorms. 

Brevard Zoo will be releasing one of its largest loggerhead sea turtle patients 375-plus-pound Bubba back to the ocean after a 3-month rehabilitation at the Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center.

Bubba will be released at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10 at Lori Wilson Park, 1500 N. Atlantic Ave. in Cocoa Beach. This release will be open to the public and take place rain or shine, although we will have to delay the release if lightning is detected in the area.

Flippers will be in the water at 4 p.m. – so we recommend getting there early!

Biologists with Inwater Research found Bubba in St. Lucie County on April 10. Noticing Bubba had injuries to both front flippers, the biologists used a crane to pull him out of the water and into a carrier in their pickup truck to bring him to the Healing Center.

There, it took a team of seven to lift Bubba and two more Healing Center volunteers to remove the carrier.

A preliminary exam found that both of Bubba’s front flippers had been injured, likely due to a predator attack, and could use some help healing. The sea turtle was also dealing with an intensive infestation of marine leeches, which caused Bubba to be anemic.

In addition to receiving antibiotics, Bubba has started receiving regular wound cleanings along with cold laser therapy on his front flippers. A freshwater bath removed the marine leeches.

Bubba has no evidence of internal or external tags, but our Healing Center team estimates that this sea turtle is between 60-75 years old and likely a great-grandfather.

Our Healing Center team’s goal is to release all our sea turtle patients back to the ocean. This was especially important for Bubba, who is a breeding male. In addition to being our largest loggerhead sea turtle patient, Bubba is our first adult male loggerhead patient!

Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646Want to help the Sea Turtle Healing Center? Support our Zoo, or view our Healing Center’s wishlist.