ISLE OF PALMS, SC (WCSC) - Isle of Palms was packed Wednesday morning as a cheering crowd joined officials from the South Carolina Aquarium to say goodbye to two sea turtles who were nursed back to health and ready to return home.
Bay, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle, and Mitchell, a loggerhead sea turtle, have spent the last few months being undergoing rehabilitation at the SC Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Both turtles were released back into the ocean at 10 a.m. during a celebration at Isle of Palms County Park.
The Sea Turtle Rescue Program received Bay in June of this year after he was accidentally caught by a fisherman at the Edisto Beach State Park fishing pier. Officials say the 11-pound juvenile had to have a fishing hook surgically removed from his esophagus, and was then placed on a diet of antibiotics, vitamins, and assorted fish.
As for Mitchell, the 65-pound juvenile was found entangled in a fishing rig in pluff mud on Hilton Head Island in May. He was covered in barnacles and malnourished, officials say.
Now healthy, both sea turtles have returned to the Atlantic Ocean.