Featured Image / Conor Goulding / Mote Marine Laboratory
A green sea turtle, now known as Henry, was rescued in Janurary off Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, Florida. When Henry arrived at Mote Marine Laboratory‘s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, he was covered in seaweed and had a very low body temperature. He also had some issues with buoyancy control and had papilloma tumors. Mote is one of only four Florida hospitals with proper facilities and training to care for turtles with fibropapillomatosis. This disease can cause life-threatening papilloma tumors in sea turtles and remains little-understood. As scientists continue to learn how this disease is transmitted among turtles, Mote has expanded a seperate facility exclusively for animals with these tumors.
After medical observation, a course of antibiotics, and removal of the tumors, Henry responded well and recovered. Henry was cleared to reach the goal of all of Mote’s hospital patients — a return to the sea.
On the morning of May 12, Mote Marine Lab staff along with members of Wells Fargo’s West Florida Green Team successfully returned Henry to the wild near Anna Maria Bayfront Park. Since the opening of Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital in 1995, it has admitted over 560 sick and injured sea turtles including all five species found in the Gulf of Mexico. Henry’s rehabilitation was made possible by a $7,500 grant awarded to Mote from Wells Fargo in 2015.
“We are incredibly grateful for Wells Fargo’s ongoing support to help turtles like Henry be able to return to the wild and hopefully live a long, healthy life,” said Lynne Byrd, Mote’s Rehabilitation and Medical Care Coordinator. “Caring for hospitalized marine animals is expensive. Tests to identify diseases and determine the scope of injuries, as well as treatments for hospitalized animals are often the same as for human patients, and at the same cost. Without the support of Wells Fargo, many turtles might not get the chance they deserve.”