Photo courtesy of Palm Beach Post
A 352-pound female loggerhead sea turtle, who rehabilitated at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, returned to her rightful home this week. Biologists from Inland Research Group discovered “Big Mama” in the St. Lucie Power Plant Intake Canal with an injury to her shell. They contacted the staff at renowned marine life center for help.
Charles Manire, staff veterinarian and Director of Research & Rehabilitation is quoted as saying, “we are not sure where the wound originated, but it extends all the way down her coelomic cavity, which is close to her lung.”
Upon reaching Loggerhead, “Big Mama” was nearly 50 pounds under weight and may have recently nested. They found that she was carrying eggs via an ultrasound. It is estimated she may be 80 – 90 years old and was traveling with four healthy companions. The four other loggerhead turtles were unharmed.
Sea turtles are drawn to the warm waters generated by power plants and swim in and out of the intake canals. Unfortunately, sometimes accidents occur, but thankfully, things end well.
The Loggerhead Marinelife Center medical staff patched the hole in "Big Mama’s" shell and treated her with antibiotics to prevent infection.
"Big Mama" was released into the ocean, at Juno Beach yesterday to a crowd of turtle lovers and smiling faces. She walked down the sand, dipped in head first, and swan out of sight. Life here is good!