Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center releases six sea turtles at Henderson Beach State Park

Northwest Florida Daily News

DESTIN — To the sound of raucous cheers and applause, Wedgie the sea turtle bid bon voyage to life on land and slipped into the waves at Henderson Beach State Park.

The subadult loggerhead was one of six sea turtles released into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning by the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center.

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The C.A.R.E. Center, a nonprofit launched in 2015, has helped rehabilitate hundreds of sea turtles over the years. The center gives injured turtles appropriate medical attention, as deemed by a veterinarian, before each turtle is released back into the Gulf as close as possible to where they were originally stranded. 

Wedgie, the first turtle released Thursday, was treated for damage to the esophagus after being hooked by a fisherman at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier in May. During the course of the event, four other loggerheads and a green sea turtle also were sent back into the wild.

More than 100 people ringed the strip of shoreline where the turtles were released and cheered every time a turtle swam out to sea.

The event was the Gulfarium's first public sea turtle release in more than a year.

To learn more about Gulfarium or the C.A.R.E. Center, visit gulfarium.com.