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Phyllis the loggerhead sea turtle

Phyllis gained 45 pounds during their rehab stay!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year – including a double sea turtle release! We plan to return sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle Phyllis and juvenile green sea turtle Debbi back to the ocean at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach on Wednesday, November 23 at 10 a.m. You’re invited to join us!

Although these turtles have differing rehabilitation stories, both were found sick or injured and brought to our Sea Turtle Healing Center for care.

Loggerhead sea turtle Phyllis was brought to the Healing Center on August 9 and, upon intake, was very debilitated. This sea turtle was lethargic, emaciated, anemic and had poor body condition. Their shell was covered with epibiota like barnacles. Phyllis was treated with an anti-parasitic medication as well as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, nutritional support, fluid therapy, routine blood evaluations and lots of rest. In addition, this patient had a very small fibropapillomatosis, or FP, tumor removed from the right side of their face.

At the time of their arrival, Phyllis was 125 pounds. By the time this turtle was deemed ready for release, they weighed 170 pounds! Our sea turtle team describes Phyllis as a “gentle giant,” and notes that this patient is very curious but compliant during treatments.

Green sea turtle Debbi arrived at our Healing Center on September 4 after being hooked by a recreational fisher. Upon arrival, our team noticed that Debbi had previously ingested multiple hooks in addition to having a small parasite load. Despite this, this patient has a good body condition! Please remember: It’s so important to ensure that any hooked sea turtles go to a rehabilitation center for care.

Over the past two months, Debbi underwent hook removal and was also treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic, anti-parasitic medication, fluid therapy, routine blood evaluations and nutritional support. Our sea turtle team describes Debbi as “sassy and curious.” This sea turtle is now ready for release!

You are invited to witness Phyllis and Debbi’s releases on Wednesday, November 23 at 10 a.m. at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach. Please note that this release will happen rain or shine. If there is lightning in the area, we will release as soon as it clears and is deemed safe. If you plan to attend, we suggest getting there early!

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.