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Big crowd cheers sea turtle release in Juno Beach


One of the largest crowds ever -- about 700 people -- packed the beach just south of the Juno Pier Thursday morning to watch two sea turtles swim home.

“Wow, I’ve never seen a sea turtle up close before. They crawl slow, but they swim fast,” said Patrick O’Keefe, 11, who was with his parents Bob and Diana visiting from Rhode Island.

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The O’Keefe family was one of about 700 spectators who cheered under cloudy skies when the turtles were released by LMC officials on the sand and crawled into the waves.

Both wounded sub-adult loggerheads were found near Hutchinson Island in August and brought to Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where sea turtles are rehabilitated and sea turtle nesting numbers are counter annually on 10 miles of north Palm Beach County beaches.

In 2016, 52 wounded sea turtles were treated and released at LMC

Brother Kenny’s initial blood-work showed anemia, hypoglycemia and overall poor health due to starvation. Hospital staff administered fluids, antibiotics and iron. The turtle was put into a temporary freshwater tank to remove the barnacles that covered its body.

Brieanna was treated for anemia and overall poor health due to starvation. Hospital staff administered fluids, antibiotics and iron. Radiographs showed impacted intestines that were full of what appeared to be crab shells. Medications and fluids helped the healing process. The turtle was also put into freshwater to remove leeches that covered the turtle’s body for the first 48 hours.


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