Rescued loggerhead turtle takes flight from Charleston to San Diego

Published: Nov. 19, 2014 at 8:51 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2014 at 8:54 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A rescued sea turtle which was treated in the Lowcountry is on a flight to its new home in San Diego.

Jersey, a young loggerhead sea turtle, took to the skies in Charleston on Wednesday after receiving treatment at the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program.

Staff with the Birch Aquarium, based in San Diego, flew the turtle out on a Delta Pet First flight.

Aquarium officials say Jersey was captured in September of 2013 at a cooling canal in New Jersey where power plant workers discovered that the turtle's rear flippers were paralyzed.

Jersey was then transported to the SC Aquarium where its Sea Turtle Rescue Program would provide the necessary treatment for the extent of the turtle's injuries.

According to SC Aquarium spokesperson Kate Ditloff, Jersey arrived in Charleston on Sept. 24, 2013 and was diagnosed with scoliosis.

Ditloff said the turtle's care included laser therapy to reduce inflammation and physical therapy to increase blood flow.

Within several months, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego informed the SC Aquarium that they had received permits to receive the turtle as a permanent animal at their facility.

A press released by the aquarium stated Jersey was deemed non-releasable by the aquarium's veterinarian, necessitating a search for a permanent home.

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