Sea Turtle Hospital patient Grape was released at Marineland Beach, directly across the street from Whitney Lab on November 18. Grape was a high stress patient while in the care of our Hospital team. Upon the recommendation of our veterinarian Dr. Brooke, Grape was released immediately after being cleared by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to return home. It was in Grape's best interest to have a private release to lessen any additional stress to make this animals return home as successful as possible.
Grape is a small juvenile green turtle that was found buoyant and struggling to dive in St. Augustine at Camachee Cove Marina on March 18. Upon arrival Grape had 90% of its carapace (shell) covered in marsh mud and some barnacles. Grape also had an old, healed trauma to the underside of her carapace, likely from a boat strike.
Grape had small Fibropapilloma (FP) tumors located on both eyes, right shoulder, left lower flipper region, and multiple small tumors on her plastron (bottom shell). Grape continued to improve and did well in rehab and after being deemed tumor free she was ready to go home.
Image: Liam Whitmore had the honor of releasing "Grape". Liam is a PhD candidate working under Dave Duffy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Disease Genomics and Rising Star Condron Family Endowed Assistant Professor.