Green Sea Turtle Eddie Finds New Home at Sea Life Aquarium

CHARLESTON, S.C. — May 12, 2014 — A Threatened sea turtle found floating off the coast of South Carolina more than a year ago is getting a second chance at life.  Eddie, a juvenile green sea turtle treated at the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program, can never be released back into the wild due to a buoyancy problem.  Eddie is taking to the friendly skies and flying to a new home at the Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine, Texas where s/he will live out the remainder of his/her life.  Eddie is the first patient treated in the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program to travel commercially.

More about Eddie:

Eddie, a 20-pound juvenile green sea turtle was rescued in August 2012 by volunteer turtle patrollers from Edisto Island, South Carolina.  The rescuers noticed that Eddie was floating and lethargic and jumped into action.  Eddie tried to evade the rescuers but was unable to escape due to a buoyancy problem.  Eddie was immediately transported to the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program.  Staff gave supportive care to help with dehydration and declining blood work, care included antibiotics, fluids and vitamin injections.  Treatment for the buoyancy issue included weight belts, weight vests, and weight plates to encourage the turtle to dive.  A CT scan revealed the ultimate cause of the buoyancy issue; scar-tissue build-up along the old boat propeller wound pressing against the nerve Eddie uses to dive.  Because of this, Eddie cannot hunt, and can never be returned to the wild.

 Shortly after being deemed unreleasable, South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager Kelly Thorvalson put out a call to fellow Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions to find Eddie a permanent home. Eddie will take flight on Southwest Airlines the morning of May 13, 2013, with the airline generously donating seats for the turtle crate.  Eddie will travel with staff from Sea Life Aquarium to his/her new home where s/he will act as an ambassador for the sea turtle species.

You too can help threatened and endangered sea turtles.  If you find a sick or injured sea turtle, contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ sea turtle hotline at (800) 922-5431.  You can also help care for sea turtles in recovery in the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program by going to scaquarium.org and making a donation and by visiting the South Carolina Aquarium and booking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital.