VENICE, La. (WGNO) - The Audubon Nature Institute partnered with the United States Coast Guard to release a young, rehabilitated, sea turtle into the Gulf of Mexico from Venice last week.
Dubbed "Peanut," the sea turtle was brought to Audubon's Species Survival Center bacon on May 30 by a concerned fisherman who found Peanut to be sluggish and exhausted.
“Upon intake and examination by our animal care staff, the turtle appeared lethargic and was dehydrated,” said Audubon’s Coastal Wildlife Network Stranding Coordinator Gabriella Vazquez. “He was given fluids, antibiotics, and was kept out of the water for the first night for observation.”
Since arriving for treatment, Peanut has grown stronger and larger. Sea turtles go through multiple life stages from hatchling, juvenile and on to adulthood. Peanut is considered a juvenile and due to his young age needed to be released in a spot near foraging grounds found in the open ocean that also provided a lot of seaweed for cover and protection.
The Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN), coordinated by Audubon Nature Institute, serves as the primary response partner to collect data about existing animal populations along Louisiana’s coast and waterways and to assist and support researchers in conservation of marine species. CWN is the only entity in the state of Louisiana allowed to rehabilitate sea turtles and marine mammals. CWN has rescued more than 200 sea turtles since 2010.
"It always a great day when CWN is able to release a rehabilitated sea turtle back into its natural environment. CWN is celebrating its third successful release this year, including the historic rescue and release of a juvenile dolphin off Louisiana’s coast,” said Vazquez.