Late in the evening on July 29, 2011, a severely debilitated loggerhead sea turtle was admitted to the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program. Our team was contacted earlier that evening by the Ocean City Coast Guard and Beach Patrol that helped bring the loggerhead safely to shore—on a boogie board!
The female loggerhead arrived severely emaciated and covered with a heavy barnacle load, and could barely swim.
The Aquarium’s animal health team safely removed the barnacle load, which helped her to be able to swim again once she was stable.
Every day, Animal Rescue staff and volunteers monitored her energy levels and her diet. Her weight steadily increased on a diet of capelin, shrimp, squid, and soft shell crabs.
This loggerhead turtle made a miraculous recovery in a surprisingly short amount of time! Animal Rescue staff was amazed at how well this turtle recovered in just a few months.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol officer who saved her and carried her to shore had the honor of naming her, and he chose “Anna.”
On November 25, 2011, staff from the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program released Anna, along with a loggerhead that underwent rehab there and four yearling head-start loggerheads from the Virginia Aquarium. All the turtles were released from a vessel off the coast of North Carolina, where water temperatures were still warm enough to support sea turtles.
This is a great example of how aquariums and stranding response facilities work together to attain common goals and give sick and injured animals a second chance at life. A big thanks to Animal Rescue volunteers and our partners at the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program!
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