PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Staff and volunteers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium returned a juvenile green sea turtle back to the wild Wednesday at Fort DeSoto Park after five months of rehabilitation.
The young turtle, named Ivan, was found in a canal in Gulfport on Jan. 16 floating on his side when a member of the public contacted CMA’s Rescue Team for help.
“When Ivan arrived at CMA, we noticed that he had an old injury to his carapace that had healed but created a deformity,” said Dr. Shelly Marquardt. “After receiving treatments for an infection and being fed a high-quality diet, Ivan was able to dive in deep water and was cleared for release. It was a relief that his deformity didn’t impede his ability to swim and forage.”
After receiving a proper diet and health assessments, Ivan was cleared for release by Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s veterinarian and by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
There are currently six sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation at CMA’s marine life hospital.
To learn more, visit cmaquarium.org.