Pin on the map of Florida showing the location of Destin

Endangered Sea Turtle Release in Destin

What a sight!  We were able to join locals and tourists alike to see the release of Mars, a 121 lb. loggerhead sea turtle, get released into the wild at Henderson Beach on May 19th.  The 21-year old Mars was found stranded off of Perdido Key on December 29, 2015.  She was in bad condition and was missing her left rear flipper, and had barnacles and red algae all over her back.  She was taken to the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center on Okaloosa Island for rehabilitation and some TLC.

How did she get her name?  The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center decided to call her Mars because of the red algae that was discovered on her back when they took her in to rehabilitate her.  They soon discovered that it was the barnacles that made it difficult for her to swim, and she ended up getting treated for pneumonia as well as dehydration.  They also found red tide in her blood as well. Needless to say, she was in bad shape when they found her. 

After several weeks at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center, she began to eat again. They dry docked her for about a month, and she quickly began to learn how to swim upright after only a month of physical therapy in the water. C.A.R.E. stands for Conserve, Act, Rehabilitate, and Educate, and the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park developed this non-profit organization in 2015 to further achieve its mission.

On the day of her release, a huge crowd gathered for a special sendoff back to the wild. Once they put her on the sand, she quickly went back to her home in the Gulf with a loud cheer from the crowd. It was amazing to witness this gentle, marine animal return to her home. 

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park rehabilitates and releases endangered sea turtles back into the wild throughout the year. Visit their blog for updates and to find out if there may be a turtle release happening while you’re in the area. 

In addition, sea turtles nest along our shores from May to October and there are many ways to help our efforts to keep them safe and have a successful nesting season.  Be sure to knock down your sand castles and fill in any holes in the sand at the end of the day to avoid obstacles for these gentle mamas. In addition, close curtains and use turtle safe covers on your flashlights at night. Click here for more ways to help Save the Sea Turtles. 

Have you booked your next beach vacation?  Now is the time, view our premier Destin vacation rentals online or call one of our friendly vacation specialists at 1-800-225-7652 to help narrow your search. 

See you @ the beach!

1592513 Tracyhoftlouthain 1

Published by Tracy Louthain
Tuesday, June 7, 2016