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Pierre the sea turtle released back into Gulf Coast after successful recovery

After several months of recovery, Pierre was finally cleared by wildlife officials to be released.
Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Another sea turtle friend has been successfully rehabilitated and released back into the waters Tuesday morning off of Anna Maria Island.

Pierre, a green sea turtle, was admitted to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital on Jan. 31 of this year. The little reptile was found floating on the surface near Anna Maria Island City Pier with watercraft injuries and moderate fibropapilloma tumors, the aquarium explains.

The turtle went for a CT scan which showed no evidence of trauma to the braincase or internal tumors. Staff at the rehabilitation hospital were able to remove the external fibropapilloma tumors.

After several months of recovery, Pierre was finally cleared by wildlife officials to be released.

Mote says if anyone sees a distressed or dead sea turtle, manatee, dolphin or whale in Sarasota and Manatee counties, report it to trained responders immediately via their 24-hour hotline at 888-345-2335.

The aquarium gave some tips, including:

  • When calling, be ready to provide a thorough description of the animal, its behaviors, and the location.
  • Take photos and video if possible.
  • Never attempt to rescue or push back any animal in distress.
  • For other Florida counties, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC's) Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.
  • In the southeastern U.S., call 877-WHALE-HELP (877-942-5343).

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