Previous Page Photo-Diary of a Terrapin Researcher Next Page

Don Lewis, Massachusetts Audubon Society,
Fox Island Wildlife Management Area

Release of Cold-Stunned Green Sea Turtle, Zeke
— 23 April 2002

An exquisite green sea turtle (ST01-048/1009-Cm), rescued cold-stunned in 42-degree water on the night of 12 November 2001 (see Nighttime Addendum; use back button to return to this page), was released by Mote Marine Aquarium on Monday.  Dubbed Zeke by the staff at Mote, his return to the wild puts an exclamation mark on a very successful cooperative venture.  The devoted volunteers on turtle patrols who find the stranded critters hypothermic on the beaches, medical experts at New England Aquarium who bring them back to life, rehabilitators from Boston through Baltimore to Florida who generously provide facilities and staff over the long haul to prepare them for release, and the federal policy coordinators at Woods Hole who orchestrate this whole complex symphony in myriad movements — all play a vital role in bringing such stories to a happy outcome.

Today’s St. Augustine Record (link opens new browser window) covered Zeke’s release.  I find it someone amusing, if not ironic, that the turtles can be released in Florida when water temperature reaches 72 degrees — 30 degrees warmer than the water in which Zeke stranded!