Saying So-Long

Due to the incredible numbers of sea turtles stranding during the Fall 2012 cold-stun event, UNE/MARC has been home to several groups of large loggerhead sea turtles.  Our first group of turtles was shuttled via Coast Guard Flight back in December when the opportunity to transport turtles to southern hospitals (and open up space in New England hospitals for new turtles in need) arose.

A few weeks later, just before Christmas, we received a second batch of turtles from New England Aquarium to help them with the hundreds of turtles occupying their pools.  Unfortunately, one turtle was extremely critical and, like many other turtles affected by cold-stunning, he died during the first few days of care.  Of the seven remaining turtles from the batch, two were recently transferred to Florida.  An opportunity presented to send 2 of our sea turtles to Florida in another transport/release coordinated by New England Aquarium in mid-January.  And so, on January 13, #98 and #101 (two unnamed turtles that were stable for relocation) were driven to Florida dozens more turtles.

Turtles head to the water

Our #98 heads to the ocean

Photos courtesy of New England Aquarium (NEAq) Rescue

#98 was taken to Little Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville Florida and released on a nice. sunny beach.  According to Connie Merigo of the NEAq Team, #98 “made a mad dash for the beach, beating out a much larger Cc” on his way to the water.  Our second turtle, #101 was taken to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center for care.

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In other news, on Sunday, January 20th, harbor seal Perciatelli, who arrived to our hospital in September 2012 after being deeply cut by a boat propeller, was returned to the sea.  During his 4 months in rehabilitation, Perciatelli was treated for the immediate injuries sustained from encountering the boat, as well as liver issues that developed over his time in our care.

Perciatelli's Boat Strike Wound - After several weeks of healing

Joined by a small group of volunteers, staff and friends from Idexx Laboratories (Westbrook, Maine) Perciatelli slowly headed to the waves at Gilbert Place Beach in Biddeford, Maine.

He gave a quick look back at the group of people who had come to see him off.   Moments later, he slipped under a wave and swam away.

Our guests take a quick peek at a seal - up close - just for a minute.

Guest of Honor Opens Perciatelli's Cage

Slowly making a break for the water

Bundled up for a cold-weather release. The chill can't keep folks away from the sight, though!

Perciatelli hits the surf

Now, to swim through a few big waves and he'll be home free.

** Thanks to our friends at Idexx Laboratories for support of our 2012 Frolic for Flippers 5K.

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