Mote returns two rehabilitated sea turtles to the big blue

Two loggerhead sea turtles, nicknamed “Lilly” and “Farmer,” were released from Lido Beach on Tuesday, May 16, after recovering from red tide toxins at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital.

“Lilly” was found floating on the south end of Naples Bay and transported to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital on March 30.

“Farmer” was found washed ashore at Holmes Beach, Manatee County and transferred to Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital on Feb. 21. Both were displaying symptoms of red tide toxicity. “Lilly” began receiving injectable antibiotics and subcutaneous fluids until symptoms improved. "Farmer” suffered from extreme lethargy and received subcutaneous fluids daily to help flush out toxins until Mote's Sea Turtle Rehab Hospital team noticed an improvement in "Farmer's" behavior and appetite. 

Now, both “Lilly” and “Farmer” have made full recoveries thanks to Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital staff members and were cleared by wildlife officials for release.

“We are super excited to see them go," said Lynne Byrd, Mote’s Rehabilitation and Medical Care Manager. "Without the help and intervention of a facility like Mote, these animals wouldn’t be alive and we wouldn’t be enjoying this happy experience.”

Within Sarasota or Manatee county waters, if you see a stranded or dead sea turtle, dolphin or whale, please call Mote's Stranding Investigations Program, a 24-hour response service, at 941-988-0212.

If you see a stranded or dead manatee anywhere in state waters or a stranded or dead sea turtle, dolphin or whale outside of Sarasota or Manatee counties, please call the FWC Wildlife Alert hotline at 1 (888) 404-FWCC (3922).

Mote's sea turtle activities are conducted under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Marine Turtle Permits 155, 216, 027, 054, 070, 048, 126 and 028.