Injured sea turtle finds new home at Charlotte area aquarium

staff reports/ The Herald

A sea turtle rescued off the coast of Florida has a new home at the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium. He is the only sea turtle to live in inland North Carolina.

In 2012, the green sea turtle later named Neptune was found stranded on Atlantic Beach in Florida and brought to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. Suffering many injuries, he had a long road to recovery and is no longer able to survive on his own in the ocean.

Injuries include a healed shell fracture, buoyancy issues, lesions and partial paralysis in the rear flippers. Also, a victim of marine debris, Neptune consumed bits of plastic garbage in the Atlantic that he was fortunately able to pass at the rescue center.

Neptune suffers from a healed fracture to the tail region of his upper shell, which may have been caused by a boat propeller. Although he can use his rear flippers in the water, he has damaged vertebra, causing partial rear paralysis.

He was unable to return to the ocean and needed a permanent home at an aquarium.

Neptune left the Georgia Sea Turtle in late February and spent several days at SEA Life in quarantine getting acclimated to his surroundings. He is now part of the Ocean Tank at the aquarium.

SEA Life visitors will notice a weight pouch strapped to Neptune’s back; this is a form of weight therapy and assists with his hind end buoyancy issues, allowing him to dive for food.

“Welcoming Neptune to SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is a huge honor for us—one we’ve waited on for quite a while,” says Dalia Goldgor, General Manager at SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord. “Neptune is a fighter and an inspirational sea creature. We are excited to have the opportunity to provide him with a forever home.”

Currently over 15 pounds, Neptune is healthy and growing. An endangered species, green sea turtles are among the largest sea turtles in the world and can reach up to 700 pounds when fully mature.

For more details, visit www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord.