Florida Governor Rick Scott assisted staff at the Turtle Hospital as they released a 100-pound sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle at a Florida Keys beach Wednesday.
After touring the hospital, Scott helped carry “Dusenberry” to the water’s edge at Sombrero Beach. The reptile was released as Scott and several hundred spectators erupted in thunderous applause.
Named by the officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission who rescued her, “Dusenberry,” was found off Key Largo last December near Molasses Reef floating and unable to dive to reach food sources.
The reptile was treated for an intestinal impaction with broad-spectrum antibiotics, vitamins, lactulose and a healthy diet of squid and fish, according to hospital officials.
“I wish my grandkids could be here to see this,” Scott said. “This turtle’s gonna live hopefully longer than them.”
Sea turtles can reach 100 years of age or older.
Since it opened more than 30 years ago in Marathon as the world’s first state-licensed veterinary sea turtle hospital, the Turtle Hospital has treated and rehabilitated nearly 2,000 injured sea turtles and assisted scores of hatchlings gone astray after exiting their nests. The facility is even equipped with three “turtle ambulances” for patient transport.