Rescued Giant Sea Turtle Is Thrilled To Swim Back To The Ocean | The Dodo First Taste Of Freedom

Munchkin was found out
on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They thought they saw
what was a rock, until they approached and they
realized it was a giant sea turtle. When she came in her
temperature was very low. She was also underweight. The front right flipper
and the rear flipper were both semi-amputated. She was not bright,
alert and responsive. She wasn’t active, and that’s
not what I wanted to see. Once we got Munchkin
up to temperature, we then actually put her in
one of our rehab tanks. I wanted to see her
investigate her surroundings, dive to the bottom, and rest. And she didn’t do that. As she increased her nutrition
and started to feel better, and the antibiotics started
to really take effect, we started to slowly see some changes. Today she is a beautiful
chestnut color, and she’s put back a lot
of the weight that she lost. She’s really looking robust,
she’s looking bright. Her skin color is great,
her shell color is great. So you know, this is what
we want to see in a turtle. All sea turtles are
threatened or endangered with climate change and pollution. So this center was built to
help work on that problem. Munchkin was rescued
about eight months ago. She now is just about ready for release. When Munchkin came in she
was about 300 pounds. And as of today she is 330 pounds. As we prepare to release Munchkin, we’re also preparing to track
her after she leaves here. So in order to do that I will be
working with Dr. Kara Dodge. – We’ve never actually gotten tracking
data from an adult Loggerhead. So we’re really excited
to track Munchkin. The tag itself is relatively small. Compared to Munchkin it’s actually
less than 1% of her body weight. She shouldn’t even realize
that tracker is there. – It’s a big day here. Not only that Munchkin survived,
but that she gets to go back, and hopefully add to the
population of Loggerhead turtles. Well, we will be heading down
to West Dennis Beach. This is a great beach because it faces a part of Nantucket Sound
that is going to be great for the turtle. A lot of great energy,
so many people there excited. You know, ready to
see this turtle released. It’s been a long eight months,
it’s been a hard eight months. So there’s been a lot of
planning that then led to this day. It’s always such a relief
when they hit the water. And just happy, you know? Really, really happy. – A little further on the sand. – Let’s give her a hand guys. (Cheers) – It was really a beautiful sight to see her take a breath
and look around a little bit. And to really almost have
dawn break over her. (Cheers) We only have three
turtles left right now, and that is because the
rest have all been released. So that’s really good news. – Munchkin is about 50 miles east
of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The information we have
collected so far looks fantastic. It makes us confident that rehabilitation
was successful for this turtle, and that she has a very promising future.

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