We are thrilled to share with you that our Sea Turtle Healing Center is gearing up to release its 200th sea turtle! Sub-adult green sea turtle Hope is set to be returned to the ocean on Wednesday, January 25 at 11:30 a.m. at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach following a successful rehabilitation stint at our Healing Center. To mark this extra special occasion, we’re planning our biggest release celebration to date!
Hope is a sub-adult green sea turtle who was found in Indian River County. Our Healing Center actually receives about 18 percent of its patients from this county! Volunteers with Coastal Connections, a nonprofit that works to protect sea turtles and their habitats, responded to Hope’s stranding and brought them to the Healing Center on November 19 – helped in part by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.
Our Healing Center team found that Hope was extremely buoyant – making her unable to dive. A sea turtle who is unable to dive may find it difficult to avoid predators, boats and other hazards.
To get a full look at Hope’s health, the green sea turtle received radiographs, blood evaluation, physical examination, antibiotics, fluid therapy and a CT scan at Rockledge Regional Medical Center. Hope was treated for an inflammation of the digestive tract.
Hope will be remembered by our Healing Center team as a “sassy sub-adult with a great fight or flight instinct.” This turtle is ready to go home to the ocean!
The theme for this release is a quote of marine biologist Sylvia Earle, “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” We’re encouraging all release attendees to wear blue or green to celebrate Hope’s return.
To celebrate Hope’s release, a special presentation of Brevard Zoo’s Turtle Tech initiative will take place just before the release at 10:30 a.m. on January 25. One of Turtle Tech’s goal is to develop and advance technologies, including unmanned drone flights, which will lead to a better understanding of the sea turtle species here in Florida and around the world. One of these unmanned flights or Beyond Visual Line of Site (BLVOS) flights will take place by our Turtle Tech partner Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where they will video Hope’s release. This project is a collaboration among Brevard Zoo, local engineers, Florida universities, Brevard County Public Schools and other organizations, and is supported by a generous grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
This release is open to the public, meaning you can witness Hope being returned to the ocean! Join us on Wednesday, January 25 at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach for this special sendoff. Please note that we plan to have this turtle’s flippers in the water at 11:30 a.m. If you plan to attend, we suggest getting there early! Not only will this help you secure parking and a spot on the beach, but it will also give you time to check out some of the awesome informational tables set up.
Hope will be released on the North side of Lori Wilson Park, but we would encourage those attending to utilize both the North and South parking lots.
Have you found a sea turtle that needs help? Visit this page or call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646.