MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two loggerhead sea turtles were sent back to sea at Bill Baggs State Park off Key Biscayne Tuesday morning.
Grinch, who was brought in to Miami Seaquarium on December 26th, and Eve, who arrived on December 31st, were released in good health; both weighing between 90 and 125 pounds.
“This is a very special day for us,” said Jodie Tuzinski, supervisor of animal care at Miami Seaquarium.
The two threatened turtles were brought to the Seaquarium for rehabilitation after they were found weak, covered in parasites, and could hardly float in the water.
Tuzinski said it’s important troubled turtles receive care or most would not survive. The endangered species come to the Seaquarium to receive rehab and treatment to have a second chance at survival.
Animal education, conservation and the turtles recovery were all teaching tools for dozens of kids attending camp at the Seaquarium this week.
They’re learning about the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, their importance to the ecosystem and why they’re being released back into the wild.
“It’s fun and exciting — I love it,” said 11-year-old Gabriel Luyanen, who is attending camp at the Seaquarium during his spring break vacation.
Eve and Grinch made their way down the sandy beach to return to their underwater home as dozens of spectators from young to old watched with delight.
“This is one of the highlights of our stay down here,” said Arthur Robbins who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, but is spending the winter on Key Biscayne. “It’s been watching the turtles go home.”
The federally protected sea turtles will separate at sea and likely reproduce baby turtles in the future. Both have been tagged and will be tracked as they adapt back into the wild.