Evan Jackson, a dive boat captain with Atlantis Dive Center phoned the Turtle Hospital early this morning to report a small sea turtle floating in the canal behind the dive shop. Staff drove up to Key Largo and picked up the post hatchling Loggerhead Sea Turtle that had been rescued from the canal containing large tarpon and boat traffic.
Scooter should be in the Sargassum seaweed, floating far out in the ocean, which provides a food source and cover from predators. The (aprox) 6 week old turtle had either been “washed back” due to storms or was from a nearby nest and became disorientated. Being slightly emaciated, the treatment will be plenty of food and then a boat ride out to the Gulf Stream and placed in a Sargassum seaweed patch.
Scooter has been doing great since his rescue last year. Scooter is no longer the tiny emaciated hatchling we remember. Scooter is now a happy, healthy post hatchling Loggerhead sea turtle. If you ever had the opportunity to meet Scooter on your visit to the Turtle Hospital you probably remember this small turtle quickly swimming towards you, greeting you mouth open, looking for some squid! However, Scooter will not be released just yet. Most hatchling sea turtles have a short stay here at the hospital. As soon as they eat well we release them back into the Sargassum Weedline. However, we have found a place for this little Loggerhead as our educational animal. This means that when we attend schools or educational events we will bring him on the road with us to help teach people (especially children) about sea turtles and the danger they face. Once Scooter celebrates his 5th birthday, or reaches approximately 30 cm. he will be released.
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