This turtle was brought to shore by a fisherman after swallowing a hook at the Navarre Fishing Pier.
FORT WALTON BEACH — “Nona,” a Green sea turtle, is scheduled for release after about two and a half months of rehabilitation at Gulfarium’s C.A.R.E. Center.
Nona is scheduled to head back into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, April 25, at 10 a.m. The location will be at Grayton Beach State Park. The public is invited to attend.
“Nona is a juvenile Green sea turtle. Accordingly, regulations require us to release her directly into the water,” says Graham Northup, Curator of Fish and Reptiles for Gulfarium. “The release will only take a minute, but we welcome anyone who wishes to join us.”
Nona arrived on Feb. 2, 2017. This turtle was brought to shore by a fisherman after swallowing a hook at the Navarre Fishing Pier. Upon arrival, initial scans showed Nona was a previous resident of the C.A.R.E. Center in June 2015. Nona had been treated for a similar scenario as she was hooked at the Navarre Pier in the front left flipper. In a matter of weeks, the turtle was released back out into the Gulf.
This time, X-rays showed four fishing hooks in Nona’s gastrointestinal tract. Nona was scheduled for surgery on February 22 due to the hooks not passing through on their own. The surgery went well, the hooks were removed, and the little Green sea turtle has made a full recovery.
“We are hoping her release by a secluded state park will help keep her away from fishing piers,” Northup said.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is located at 1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE on Okaloosa Island and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more info visit www.gulfarium.com or call (850) 243-9046.
Series on Sea Turtle Rehabilitation
Below are links to a three-part series by the Daily News that followed the rehabilitation of Meeko, a young adult sea turtle rescued in 2016 near the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier with fishing hooks in her stomach and on her shell.
STORY 1: Sea turtle eats a few too many fish hooks
STORY 2: How do you operate on an armor-plated animal?
STORY 3: Return to the wild