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Bon Voyage Briar

By Beth Nathan for Island Eye News

On Friday, May 5, the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center released Briar, an adult loggerhead sea turtle and the centers first repeat patient on the Isle of Palms.

Briar originally stranded in 2013 and was the first patient to develop cataracts and undergo cataract surgery. Two years after being released she re-stranded with a boat strike wound. After 11 months of rehabilitation and a 50-pound weight gain she is healthy and was ready for her return to the ocean.

Other exciting news from the Sea Turtle Care Center:

This past Saturday we admitted two new patients, “Destiny” and “Chum.” Destiny is a large 206 pound adult female loggerhead with shark bite wounds on her front flippers. Destiny is fairly lethargic but has a voracious appetite which is encouraging. Chum is a Kemp’s ridley that swallowed a treble hook, and required surgery when admitted. Yesterday, we also admitted our 14th patient of the year “Bruce.” S/he is a DTS loggerhead with a necrotic right front flipper from a shark bite, and an old boat strike wound to the caudal carapace. Bruce is currently resting comfortably on foam in shallow water.

Current Patients in The Sea Turtle Care Center:

Total number of patients: 19

Loggerheads: 10

Greens: 7

Hybrid: 1

Kemp’s ridley: 1

The Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recover™ opens to the public on May 27. This new experience will be beyond an exhibit as it will serve as an interactive learning landscape, interpreting sea turtle conservation on the East Coast. The exhibit itself will host state-of-the-art technology and interactive exhibits that address water quality, marine debris, plastics consumption and environmental stewardship. And, to everyone’s delight – the rehabilitation efforts of our sea turtle team will be front and center and every guest will be able to see the incredible care we provide these animals.

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