KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. — Two baby sea turtles, Smoothie and Schnapps, are being released back into the wild after successfully completing their rehabilitation process at Miami Seaquarium. Both sea turtles were rescued in March after being injured in the wild and are set to be released Wednesday.
Smoothie was found by the Palm Beach Atlantic University sailing team on March 29 with injures on the back part of his shell from a possible boat strike. After finding the little guy, the PBAU sailing team contacted the Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
Soon after, the turtle was treated with antibiotics and kept in shallow water because he also had issues floating. As his shell started healing, he was moved into deeper waters until finally being able to pass his dive test.
As for Schnapps, he was found a day earlier in the Hobe Sound area with shark bite wounds. Much like Smoothie, he was kept in shallow waters while being treated with antibiotics and pain medications for his wound. After a month of rehabilitation, Schnapps was able to pass his dive test with no problems.
"The hope is that, once mature, they will contribute to the wild green sea turtle population and continue to be successful out in the ocean," Julie Heyde, the park's animal care supervisor, said. "Green sea turtles play an important role in the ecosystem, so it is important for us to do what we can to help these amazing animals be successful."
Sea turtles aren't the only animals Miami Seaquarium is committed to saving. The oceanarium also has efforts to rehabilitate injured manatees out in the wild. In the last 10 years, Miami Seaquarium has been able to rescue 86 manatees and 175 sea turtles.
Both turtles will be returned to the ocean Wednesday at 11 a.m. at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.