May 3, 2008

Nest Fest and Turtle Crawl, Jekyll Island, Georgia

We returned to the beach for the Nest Fest and Turtle Crawl held by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

This is an ordinary box turtle.

Marlon thought he heard "Big Mac."

This is a terrapin turtle...often seen crossing the road in this area.

Doug poses with one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dressed as the Georgia Sea Turtle Center mascot.

The Jekyll Island beach is very clean and sparsely populated even on a Saturday.

Younger members of the crowd get ready to try the Turtle Crawl.

A few jellyfish lay here and there along the beach...disgusting!

The crowd prepares for the main event of the day. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center will be releasing three rescued and rehabed sea turtles into the ocean.

First up we have Tweety, a Kemp's Ridley turtle. Tweety was found stranded in Brewster, Massachusetts on November 10, 2007. He was cold-stunned with lesions on his front flippers.

Tweety will be released with Kermit, a Green turtle. He was found stranded in Dennis, Massachusetts on November 11, 2007. He was also cold-stunned with lesions on his flippers.

Both turtles were transferred to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in the middle of December. After being in the care of the GSTC for nearly five months, they were ready to return to their home...the Atlantic Ocean.

Divers from the GSTC carried Tweety and Kermit out into the ocean for their release.

Our final releasee will have to find her own way home...and find it she will.

Meet Spitfire...a loggerhead sea turtle...she was found stranded in Volusia County, Florida on October 1, 2007 and arrived at the GSTC on December 3. She was having trouble submerging herself...she was floating...and she had a tilt.

She was found to have had a tear in her lung which had healed, but had resulted in a gas buildup in her body cavity which caused her to float and severely limited her ability to submerge herself in the ocean. The staff at the GSTC was able to perform a procedure which released 4 liters of air from her body cavity!

Spitfire is still a juvenile...growing from 102 pounds to 122 pounds in the five months at the GSTC.

Carrying a satellite transmitter on her back, watch Spitfire take her stroll down the beach bidding farewell to her friends at the GSTC. You HAVE to watch this video! Good luck, Spitfire!

For more pictures, go to pictures 111-166.

To be continued...

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