Turtle to be released at Henderson Beach

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Join in the beach release of a stranded loggerhead sea turtle as she is returned to the Gulf of Mexico following rehabilitation at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center. The release will take place Thursday, May 19, at 11 a.m. at Henderson Beach State Park. Upon entering Henderson Beach State Park gate (admission fees required) vehicles should veer right and park in the first lot on the left.

The adult loggerhead was discovered struggling offshore in Perdido Key, Florida, in December of 2015. Named Mars for the ample red algae growing on her shell, the 110-pound turtle was missing most of its rear left flipper. Rehabilitation at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. (Conserve, Act, Rehabilitate, Educate) Center included treatment for pneumonia and dehydration as well as in-water therapy to promote balanced swimming. Mars tested positive for red tide toxicity, most likely due to consuming food that had been affected by red tide, requiring time for her to metabolize the toxins out of her tissues.

After undergoing successful treatment, Mars has demonstrated the skills required for her return to the Gulf, such as diving and eating without assistance. Gulfarium staff looks forward to sharing the joyous occasion with the public on Thursday along with the opportunity to share more about Mars' story and the challenges facing endangered sea turtles.