Marine Science Center returns the turtle to the Atlantic Ocean

Marine Science Center returns the turtle to the Atlantic Ocean

The Tybee Island Marine Science Center releases a turtle into the Atlantic Ocean

Ike the turtle has been at the center since 2020

After three years of educating more than 300,000 students and visitors at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, beloved sea turtle Ike has been released back into the ocean. “It has touched so many lives, and hopefully, you know, we’ve learned and shown people this species and how important it is and why we need to save it,” said Ali Williford, the science center’s program manager, who has seen the species grow from being an 18-pound stray. Grams in his nest to what is now a 64-pound sea turtle. Locals came to the beach Saturday morning to bid farewell to the beloved turtle. For Jessica Solomon, it was a bittersweet moment. “Watching him go,” Solomon said. “It’s very emotional.” Related Turtle Stories Tybee Island’s sea turtle population is thriving. How do hurricanes affect sea turtles on Hilton Head Island? Video: Baby sea turtle heads out to sea Solomon often visited Ike at the center and said SUBMIT -Oof felt It’s like she’s sending one of her children into the world. “We’ve watched Ike grow and move from place to place; He’s recovering, and now he’s moving on to the next stage, and we’re really excited because it’s normal, he’s “marked and things like that,” Solomon said. Ike has three marks; One plays the role of a microchip, and the other two are on his fins, which are intended for reporting to the Department of Natural Resources. While it does not have a satellite tracker, the science center feels it is headed to the North Atlantic. “He’s probably going to make that trip into the warm water current. There’s tons of food for him, lots of little crabs swimming around, shrimp shells, horseshoe crabs, sea turtle species that he likes to snack on,” Williford said. The science center will soon start helping a new turtle very soon.

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After three years of educating more than 300,000 students and visitors at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, beloved sea turtle Ike has been released back into the ocean.

Ali Williford said: “He has touched the lives of so many, and we hope he has taught and shown people how important these species are and why we need to save them.”

Williford, program director at the Science Center, watched the turtle grow from being an 18-pound stray in its nest to the 64-pound sea turtle it is now.

Locals came to the beach on Saturday morning to bid farewell to the beloved turtle. For Jessica Solomon, it was a bittersweet moment.

“We call him our pandemic turtle because he came here during the pandemic and he had to go through the same things. We had to go through isolation and go through that phase. Yeah, it was fun to watch him go. And it’s very emotional.” Solomon said.

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Solomon often visited Ike at the center and said saying goodbye was like sending one of her children into the world.

“We’ve watched Ike grow and go from place to place; he’s recovering, and now he’s moving on to the next stage, and we’re really excited that he’s been tagged and things like that,” Solomon said.

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Ike has three signs; One plays the role of a microchip, and the other two are on their own pinball machines, which are dedicated to reporting to the Department of Natural Resources.

While it has no satellite tracking device, the science center feels it is headed toward the North Atlantic.

“So he’s probably making that trip into the warm water current. There’s tons of food for him, lots of little crabs swimming around, snails, horseshoe crabs, sea turtle species that he likes to snack on,” Williford said.

The science center will soon start helping a new turtle very soon.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

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