The Brevard Zoo has released juvenile green sea turtles Ceres and Shooting Star following successful rehabilitation stints at the Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center.
Ceres was returned to the ocean in Vero Beach, while Shooting Star was released just a few miles away in the Indian River Lagoon.
Ceres, who was admitted to the Healing Center on June 30, 2019, was found at Sebastian Inlet State Park with a head wound, swollen right eye and injured neck muscles; this led to hyperinflation of the left lung and buoyancy issues. This sea turtle was treated with nutritional support, medication, fluids and a specialized weight belt. Chiropractic care was donated by Dr. Ashley Mincey of Wild Life Chiropractic.
Stranding in Port Canaveral on April 6, Shooting Star arrived at the Healing Center with damage to their skull and beak, and a front left flipper attached by just a small piece of skin. Veterinary staff gave Shooting Star “braces” to stabilize the fractures and fed them through a tube. Shooting Star was cleared for release after the fractures regained strength and they could eat on their own.
All seven of the world’s sea turtle species are threatened by human hunting, entanglement in fishing equipment, marine debris, shrinking beaches, pollution and climate change. Individuals who find distressed sea turtles in Brevard County should contact Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-206-0646 or Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC.