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A woman holds a green sea turtle

Best wishes, Speedy!

It’s not often that our sea turtle patients get a boat ride home, but Speedy the juvenile green sea turtle got to literally wish a crowd “bon voyage” after being returned to the water following a five-month stay at our Sea Turtle Healing Center.  

Speedy the green sea turtle's intake photo

This is what Speedy looked like when they first arrived at our Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center.

Speedy was found struggling in the Banana River in Cocoa Beach by a Wildside Tour group this April. Tanya Morgan, the boat captain, and her deckhand named Speedy (the inspiration for the turtle’s name) decided to investigate when they saw something they’d never seen before in the lagoon.  

“It was a sea turtle’s flipper in the air,” Tanya said. “It looked like he was waving us over to save him.” 

Tanya called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for instructions on how to bring Speedy the turtle, who was covered in algae, tumors and barnacles, to our Healing Center. Everyone on the boat was ready to help.  

“He rode nicely on the boat and in the car,” Tanya said. “I know he was ready to be saved!” 

While at our Healing Center, Speedy, whose gender is unknown, was treated for emaciation, buoyancy, fibropapillomatosis (FP) and the organisms living on their carapace (barnacles, algae and more). Good food, antibiotics, vitamins and fluid therapy helped them recover, along with treatment for the FP tumors.  

A woman releases a green sea turtle into a waterway.Speedy received a CT scan at Rockledge Regional Medical Center to make sure the tumors growing on them, a symptom of FP, weren’t impacting any internal organs. Speedy underwent surgery to remove the external FP tumors once they received the all-clear and were deemed healthy enough for surgery.  

On Sept. 26, Speedy boarded a Wildside Tour boat again along with Healing Center staff to be returned to the water. So long Speedy! 

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.