Endangered sea turtle returns to the ocean after rehab

A 100-pound endangered sea turtle named Aldo Leopold was just released back into the ocean following weeks of treatment.

Leopold’s happy ending marked the end of another success story at Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla. The environmental rehabilitation and rescue center has been protecting and advocating on behalf of turtles since 1986.

“The coronavirus has the Florida Keys shut down, but we’re still here taking care of over 40 sea turtles at the hospital,” Turtle Hospital general manager Bette Zirkelbach told the Associated Press.

Leopold was rescued in late February after he was discovered at Alligator Reef in Islamorada floating offshore and unable to dive, reported Turtle Hospital. The staff treated Leopold with broad-spectrum antibiotics, fluids and vitamins and fed him a comprehensive diet of fish, squid and greens, AP said.

Rescuers named the green sea turtle after Aldo Leopold, a renowned environmentalist of the early 20th century. He was dubbed the “Father of Wildlife Ecology for the US Wilderness Systems.”

Leopold’s release into the Atlantic Ocean coincided with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. Turtle Hospital shared a video of the moment on Facebook. Many users shared their support and well wishes. 


In honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary Wednesday, the The Turtle Hospital released "Aldo Leopold,” a 100-pound juvenile green sea turtle back to the ocean. #ConnectAndProtect

Posted by The Florida Keys & Key West on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

“Never gets old! Love seeing these successes! Thank you!” One Facebook user wrote. 

“Have a great life Aldo!” another said. 

“I love watching. It’s a distraction watching all of your love and kindness for these turtles,” one person said. 

If you liked this story, check out this adorable baby sea turtle venture out for its first swim.

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