Animal carers released a rehabilitated loggerhead sea turtle back into the ocean off Marathon, Florida, on Thursday, April 22, in celebration of Earth Day.
Footage shows crowds gathered to watch Sparb, a 125-pound sub-adult female sea turtle, be returned to the ocean on Thursday.
The group of rescuers is seen gathering around the turtle for a photo as the animal began to move around in the water. One caretaker is heard saying, “She’s on her way.” Onlookers applaud as the turtle swims away.
Sparb was rescued in late January 2021, discovered floating off Sombrero Beach with severe wounds and a missing front right flipper. In the care of Turtle Hospital workers, the endangered turtle, who initially was not expected to survive, received antibiotics, wound care, laser therapy, fluids, vitamins, and a “healthy diet of fish and squid.” Sparb was named after the late husband of one of her rescuers.
Turtle Hospital Manager Bette Zirkelbach said there was “nothing better” than being able to rescue one of the world’s oldest animals, and to return it “to its ocean home on Earth Day.” Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau via Storyful