Caught up in the sizzling summer heat and sensational sea turtle release at Kiawah's Beachwalker Park, there was scant time to recognize some of the key players. Namely, Dawsey the loggerhead sea turtle who had been rescued 10 months prior on a sandbar at Caper's Inlet with two infected wounds on her left flipper. Also, seven green sea turtles that had been admitted to the S.C. Aquarium's sea turtle hospital in December, after being found in N.C. waters in need of help. Seven of the green sea turtles are juveniles, ages three to five years old, making them more susceptible to the cold-stunning that affected them in December. The green sea turtle team were named Charms, Lewbart, Fisher, Cape Lookout, Sandy, Banks and Carteret. Another juvenile green sea turtle named Frosty came from the Hilton Head ares in December as well with frostbite on its front flippers!
A large and appreciative family audience lined the beach where the sea turtles were led to the sea in an orderly fashion by Kelly Thorvalson of the Aquarium. Thorvalson is the 'wonder woman' of the sea turtle hospital at the aquarium who is quietly making a difference in Charleston that is sure to be recognized on a larger scale one day. LowcountryOutdoors has known Kelly since back when girls would be girls and she hasn't changed one bit. Like to learn more about her program, here's the link.
To view blog coverage from the 2009 Sea Turtle Release on Folly Beach click here.
PhotosByJeffDennis: Lewbart and Charms the green sea turtles are presented for a photo just before entering the Atlantic Ocean at Kiawah Island; Frosty the frost-bitten green sea turtle helped to educate youths about the natural resources that are a part of the Lowcountry Outdoors; Thorvalson's team hauls Dawsey towards the surf; Dawsey pauses to think about all the fresh jellyfish that she is going to have for supper at her favorite fishin' hole