Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Good Sea Turtle Rescue Story

This monofilament story has a happier ending than the previous post involving the manta ray. Again, thanks to Ann for sharing both the story and the photos.

A surfer noticed a juvenile green sea turtle in distress and struggling in the Melbourne Beach surf in April. He placed her on his board and brought her to shore, then called the Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS). He named the turtle Barney because of all the barnacles on the turtle's shell.

There was monofilment loosely wrapped around Barney's head and right flipper. Unfortunately, the monofilament on her left front flipper was deeply imbedded.

STPS folks took Barney to the Marine Science Center (MSC) at Ponce Inlet (Volusia County), the closest sea turtle rehabilitation center to Brevard County. Michelle Bauer at the MSC hoped to save the left front flipper, but the circulation had been cut off and the monofilament had worked its way into her bone, so the flipper was amputated. Barney was in rehab for three months, and learned to swim without the flipper and to feed on her own.
Thanks to a young surfer, the STPS, and the MSC, Barnie was released at Sebastian Inlet on July 9. Job well done, folks!

Click on the photo of Barney with Michelle for a better view. The alert reader may have noticed that we referred to Barney as "she" throughout this posting. Michelle tells us that you can't tell the sex of a turtle until it reaches adult size, but the rehab people at MSC tend to call the cute turtles "her" and the fiesty, difficult ones "him" - Barney was was one of the cute ones. :)
(Photo courtesy of Ann Zscheile)

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