The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Colorado Is Making Moves!

Colorado, a 170 lb. Adult male Loggerhead sea turtle, was struck by a boat and found floating north of Knock em’ Down Key in late March of 2012. Rehab staff was unsure if Colorado would survive the significant trauma to the rear of his carapace, but Colorado has been determined to make his way back to sea.

‘Colorado’, nick-named by the rescuing family visiting from Colorado, upon arrival.

Colorado lost function in his back flippers due to his lower spine being severed by the prop of the boat. Throughout his time here, the fractures have been constantly debrided and cleaned of dead tissue and bone. He even had metal sutures attached to stabilize his carapace during the healing process. Colorado started his journey at The Turtle Hospital with a sprinkler overhead to keep him moist, because he was unable to breathe while submerged in water. He has worked his way into deeper and deeper water as his time here has progressed.

Colorado coming up for air!

Once Colorado proved himself able in a full tank, he was moved to a large quadrant of the main pool. On August 2, he was moved to an even bigger pool of water to further test his ability to navigate and surface to breathe. In this large tank, usually reserved for hurricane emergency, Colorado continued to impress us with excellent swimming and easy surface breaches for air.

Lastly, we wanted to see if he could hunt for some live prey. Colorado was given some live lobsters that he gobbled up in just a few bites! This is a great sign for Colorado, he has made a speedy recovery and will be heading back out to the wild very soon!

Rehab staff prepares for Colorado’s feeding!

Sizing up a lobster!



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