The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Fiesta’s Release is Well-Attended

Surrounded by a crowd of well-wishers, young and old, Fiesta prepares for her send-off from Higg’s Beach after nearly 5 months in rehab.

Members of The Turtle Hospital staff weren’t the only ones present at Fiesta’s release last Saturday from Higg’s Beach in Key West.  More than 100 well-wishers attended the public release.  Fiesta was lowered into the water by local politician Mario Degenero, Congressman David Rivera and Miss Florida–the veterinarian at Harbor Branch–along with representatives from Save-a-Turtle and The Turtle Hospital.  Fiesta’s release neared the culmination of a week-long conservation and art outreach project by The Wyland Foundation, with the last 4 days spent repainting a 3-D wall mural in Key West.

Local celebrities played a role in Fiesta’s return to sea last Saturday, including (from left to right) Congressman Rivera, Miss Florida and politician Mario Degenero.

With 2 clearly visible linear prop wounds across her carapace, Fiesta was fully healed and eager to head home.  Months of deep wound care allowed for healthy scar tissue to fill in the gashes along the back of her shell.  Fiesta’s well-attended release shows how much hope there is for the turtle world and saving our oceans and marine life at large.  We can help Fiesta and other sea turtles avoid future boat hits by being vigilant on the waters and obeying boating regulations.

Prior to the release, kids got the chance to have every imaginable question about sea turtles answered. Educating the youth is the most successful form of conservation, and we hope these little ones took home with them a love for sea turtles and the oceans!

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