FORT WALTON BEACH — The Gulfarium's CARE Center will release four rehabilitated sea turtles Tuesday at Henderson Beach State Park.
The release is for three juvenile green sea turtles and one sub-adult Loggerhead, according to a press release from the Gulfarium. All of the turtles were considered cold stunned from freezing temperatures this winter.
The turtles will be released at 10 a.m., and the community is invited to attend.
Wicket, a juvenile green, arrived on Jan. 18, weighing in at 8 pounds. This turtle was found cold and lethargic on the north shore of Perdido Key, according to the press release. Once at the Gulfarium, the turtle remained out of the water for a week while slowly regaining normal body temperature and receiving supportive fluids. Almost immediately following reintroduction to the water, the turtle began eating and is now ready to be released back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Porg and Cindle, both juvenile greens, arrived on Jan. 19. Porg was found at Pensacola Beach and weighed just under 7 pounds. Cindle, weighing 17 pounds, was found on the north shore of Navarre Beach, the press release said. Both were in good bodily condition and required supportive care to recover from hypothermia.
Mazzy, stranded in the Santa Rosa Sound just off of Peg Leg Pete's restaurant in Pensacola Beach, was rescued on Jan. 19. This sub-adult Loggerhead was found after one of the cold snaps in the area. She was lethargic and had barnacles on her carapace (upper shell), which can sometimes be an indication of an underlying illness. She did well once placed in water and quickly began eating and gaining weight. Mazzy will be heading back into the Gulf weighing 94 pounds.
The address for the turtle release is 17000 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin. Visitors to the park will need to pay a parking fee.
Turtle-release events are typically well attended, so planning ahead is strongly encouraged. Heavy traffic and a large crowd is expected.