2 injured loggerhead turtles triumphantly crawl into the Atlantic after rehabbing in Florida

JUNO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A crowd cheered and took photos as two loggerhead sea turtles slowly made their way through the sand and into the Atlantic Ocean on Monday after rehabbing at a Florida marine life center.

Cayman and Finley arrived at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach after separate incidents left them injured, officials said. The center treats injured turtles and releases them back into their natural habitat as soon as they are healthy enough to survive on their own.

Cayman's front left flipper became entangled in fishing line, and he was brought to the center on Feb. 6, in need of surgery, said Dr. Heather Barron, a veterinarian and the center's chief science officer.

“We went in and we cleaned all that up surgically” she said. ”And, he has been doing very well. Recovered beautifully from the surgery. Can’t even see a scar there now."

Finley had a fishing hook embedded in his shoulder when he arrived on April 27.

“This one actually came out very easily. But never underestimate the ability of a dirty fishhook to cause a really nasty infection,” Barron said.

The turtles were released on the beach just across from the research center, which is north of West Palm Beach.

“It’s always a celebration on the beach," said Andy Dehart, the center's president and CEO.

He said the staff is always excited to release the turtles.

“To see them return to the ocean is the best part of our job,” Dehart said.


Frisaro reported from Fort Lauderdale.