Watch Clearwater Marine Aquarium Release "Wiley" the Sea Turtle After Months of Rehab and TLC
Raise your hand if you've planned a trip around catching sea turtle hatchlings.
Well, sea turtle enthusiasts, we've got an inspiring story to share. On Wednesday, February 19, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) in Clearwater Beach, Florida, released “Wiley,” a threatened sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle, back into the wild at Fred Howard Park in nearby Tarpon Springs.
“Wiley was found floating sideways at the Crystal River Power Plan in Citrus County,” said CMA vet Dr. Shelly Marquardt in a press release from the organization. “When she came to CMA on June 20, she was very thin with several skin ulcers and algae build up along carapace, indicating that she had been ill for quite a while and not eating regularly.” Wiley also suffered from anemia and gastrointestinal gas, which led to buoyancy issues in the water. Thankfully, CMA was able to get Wiley's weight from 90.6 pounds up to 128.7 pounds and bring her back to good health.
“Wiley’s' treatment plan consisted of fluids, antibiotics, medication to help her gastrointestinal tract move, and a healthy diet of jumbo shrimp and other restaurant quality fish. Within a month, 'Wiley' was starting to gain weight and swimming normally. During the rehab process, Wiley gained a total of 38.1 lbs," said Marquardt. “Wiley had the typical challenges throughout rehab, but was resilient. Getting her to rest on the bottom of the rehab pool was the first hurdle, and then it was slow, steady improvement from there."
Now, after months of incredible care, Wiley's story with CMA concludes with a happy ending and she was able to return to the sea. But the story doesn't end with Wiley—as many sea turtles still need our help. If you're able to, consider supporting CMA's Animal Care Fund to help sea turtles like Wiley and other marine life in need.
We hope Wiley is having a lovely reunion with all her friends back in the water and that many more success stories like hers emerge from CMA in the seasons to come.