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A green sea turtle on a beach makes her way to the ocean.

Good luck, Jolene!

We recently said goodbye to one of the largest green sea turtles we’ve ever rehabilitated! Jolene, a 374-pound adult green sea turtle, went home to the ocean on Friday, July 28 at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach during a private release.  

Jolene came to the Healing Center on July 7 after being found with a commercial fishing line wrapped around her neck and front flippers. She was transported from the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge to our Healing Center by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. Upon arrival, Jolene’s significant cuts under her left flipper and around her neck were cleaned, and a medical-grade fish skin graft was initially placed over some of the left flipper cuts to promote healing.

In her two weeks of care from us, Jolene recovered well with medication, rest and good nutrition. The wellbeing of our sea turtle patients is always our priority, and Jolene made it clear she was ready to return to the ocean.

The wellbeing of our sea turtle patients is always our priority, and Jolene made it very clear she was ready to go home! Our Healing Center team made the decision to release her privately, but you can watch some of her return back to the ocean below.

When she arrived at our Healing Center, Jolene was found to be gravid or carrying eggs. She laid about 80 eggs, which were given to the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group (UCF MTRG) to be placed in a hand-dug chamber on the beach and monitored for development. We don’t know whether those eggs will hatch, but we’re hopeful!  

Fishing gear can be very harmful to marine life, especially turtles. Please remember to pack your fishing gear before and after use, and place unwanted fishing line in the designated bins at waterfront parks. If you find a turtle with line wrapped around them, our Healing Center staff advise that you don’t remove the line (or any other item attached to a distressed sea turtle) unless it is impeding their ability to breathe. 

If you find a sea turtle that appears to be in distress, contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922. You can also call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646 for strandings in Brevard County.  

Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646.

Want to help the Sea Turtle Healing Center? Support our Zoo, or view our Healing Center’s wishlist.