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Mote releases 2 sea turtles recovering from red tide toxins into Gulf of Mexico

Each sea turtle underwent more than a month of rehabilitation.
Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Loggerhead sea turtle, Lilly, released from Lido Beach. Two loggerhead sea turtles, nicknamed “Lilly” and “Farmer,” were released from Lido Beach on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, after recovering at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital.

SARASOTA, Fla. — Two sea turtles are back home in the Gulf of Mexico after undergoing rehabilitation with Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital.

"Lilly" and "Farmer" were both released Tuesday at Lido Beach in Sarasota.

Lilly was transported to Mote's rehab hospital on March 30 after the sea turtle was found floating on the south end of Naples Bay, Mote said in a news release. Farmer was found on Feb. 21 after washing ashore at Holmes Beach in Manatee County. 

During their rehab journeys, Lilly received injectable antibiotics and subcutaneous fluid until symptoms improved. Farmer suffered from extreme lethargy and had to receive subcutaneous fluids daily to help flush out toxins. Mote's Sea Turtle Rehab Hospital team then began to notice improvement in Farmer's behavior and appetite. 

Following each of their recoveries, wildlife officials approved their release. 

"We are super excited to see them go," Mote’s Rehabilitation and Medical Care Manager Lynn Byrd said in a news release. "Without the help and intervention of a facility like Mote, these animals wouldn’t be alive and we wouldn’t be enjoying this happy experience."

If anyone sees a stranded or dead sea turtle, dolphin or whale, you're urged to call Mote's Stranding Investigations Program at 941-988-0212. Service is available around the clock.

You can also report a stranded manatee, dead sea turtle, dolphin or whale outside of Sarasota and Manatee counties to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922. 

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