Mote Marine Laboratory and WhaleNet

Loggerhead Turtle
Caretta caretta



Species: Loggerhead
Life Stage: Adult
Gender: Male
Release Date: 2007-03-29 12:00:00
Release Location: Lido Beach

King was found floating near Casey Key on April 27, 2006. The turtle was brought to Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital for care. The turtle was very lethargic, but responsive upon arrival to Mote. The turtle was affected by what is being called "Lethargic Loggerhead Syndrome", a condition caused by parasites in the blood vasculature, particularly in the brain. It took 4.5 months before King could swim and 8 months before he could eat on his own, but all effects of the parasites appear to be gone.

The release of these turtles marks Mote's first scientific findings of adult male loggerheads that have undergone rehabilitation, some of which were affected by red tide. Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program will be tracking the movement of these turtles and monitoring the possible interaction with environmental factors, such as red tide exposure and changing water temperature, upon release. This is the first opportunity to obtain information with satellite tags on adult male loggerheads. Female turtles can be studied on the beach during nesting cycles. However, adult male sea turtles typically live further offshore and do not come ashore, making it more difficult to learn about them.

King measures curved carapace length notch-tip = *92.8 cm, weight 88 kg, Curved carapace width 83.6 cm, Head width 19.9 cm. *indicates a shortened carapace, from a truncated rear tip of the carapace. Tag is a Wildlife Computers SPOT 5.

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