FT. MORGAN, Ala. (WALA) – It was a homecoming for one lucky juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nicknamed Bama.
On Wednesday, May 21, volunteers released the turtle back into the wild near the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.
“Probably the best part of it, I guess, is seeing that we were able to help out in getting the turtle well again and letting it get back to the Gulf where it belongs,” said Debbie Kline with the Sea Turtle Stranding Network.
Bama was called into the Gulfarium’s Sea Turtle C.A.R.E. program about a month ago. An Alabama fisherman inadvertently hooked it on a line.
Veterinarians were able to remove the hook and the turtle was rehabilitated.
So what can you do if you accidentally hook a sea turtle? Rather than attempt to remove the hook yourself, or cutting the line and releasing the turtle with a hook in its mouth, call the authorities at 1-866-SEA-TURT (1-866-732-8878).
The same goes for stranded turtles on the beach or in distress.
Gulfarium’s Sea Turtle C.A.R.E Program (Conserve, Act, Rehabilitate, Educate) provides an evaluation by animal care and veterinary staff using guidelines from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These guidelines give their staff the necessary information needed to evaluate a method for rehabilitation, recovery and release.