Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is set to release “Magnolia”, a female Loggerhead sea turtle that was found stranded on a local beach last spring, this Saturday at Huntington Beach State Park, according to a press release issued Thursday.
The release will occur at 8 a.m. at the Main Beach Access across from the Park’s Gift Shop.
Magnolia was discovered by a beach walker in North Litchfield, stranded on the shore near Magnolia Beach, and transported to the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, according to the release. Upon initial examination by the animal care staff at the SC Aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital, Magnolia was found to be emaciated, anemic, covered in barnacles, and made little effort to move. Magnolia was given fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and her vitals were routinely checked until it was determined she was strong enough to travel.
Once Magnolia began to show some signs of improvement, she was moved to Ripley’s Aquarium in July. The Animal Husbandry Team at Ripley’s worked to remove barnacles from Magnolia’s shell, as well as conducted a series of blood tests and check-ups to ensure she was making progress. Magnolia has had quite a voracious appetite (she eats about 10 lbs of seafood per day) since her arrival and now weighs in at an impressive 202 pounds, the release states.
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On Thursday, the Ripley’s Aquarium staff worked alongside Charlotte Hope, a Wildlife Biologist with the SC DNR and Bob George, the Aquarium’s Chief of Veterinary Services to tag Magnolia and give her one last check-up before her release on Saturday.
According to Tim Handsel, director of husbandry at Ripley’s, “Magnolia was in need of a place to recuperate and recover. We have been very pleased with her progress, and she is now very active, eating normally and is ready to be released.”
Who: Public is Invited to Huntington Beach State Park. $5 Park Entry Fee per adult.
What: Release of Magnolia, the rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, back into the ocean by Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016
Where: Huntington Beach State Park, 16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576