Brevard Zoo releases 2 sea turtles

MELBOURNE — Skipper and Ginny are back in the sea. This afternoon, more than 100 animal lovers joined staff and volunteers from Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center as these green sea turtles made their way to the open ocean off Hangar’s Beach.

Skipper was found floating in Port Canaveral after she was struck by a boat in February. Ginny was discovered on the coast of Melbourne Beach in May; when put in water at the Healing Center, she demonstrated buoyancy issues, likely due to a gaseous buildup in her gastrointestinal tract.

Both patients were treated with medication, nutritious food and rest.

Skipper was initially the only sea turtle to be released, but, much to the delight of onlookers, a last-minute request for Ginny’s release was approved by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Brigadier General Wayne R. Monteith, commander of the Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, had the honor of carrying Skipper to the water’s edge.

Green sea turtles are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to due to human hunting, entanglement in fishing equipment, marine debris, shrinking beaches, pollution and climate change.

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