By Mimi Wood for The Island Eye News
A crowd of 300 spectators, fans and well wishers gathered at the Isle of Palms County Park on May 10 for the first turtle release of 2018. Staff and volunteers from the South Carolina Aquarium were on hand to facilitate the event. Using the opportunity to help educate the masses, Kelsey Murdaugh, an educator with the SC Aquarium, engaged with some of the crowd, sharing the skull of a loggerhead turtle.
The two stars of the show were carried from the center van. Rhaegal, a loggerhead turtle from Virginia was suffering from pneumonia when he was brought into the SC Aquarium.
Coral, a sub-adult Kemp’s ridley turtle was found floating near Edisto Island last July, the victim of a boat strike. Coral was ecstatic to be returning home, evidenced by the vivacious flapping of her flippers as she approached the surf line.