Dylan, a loggerhead sea-turtle who has been raised by humans for the past 9 years, has been released into the ocean after about a year of planning. Weighing in at 150 pounds, Dylan has been in captivity for pretty much her entire life. She was rescued in 1998 after being found alone on Jekyll Island’s beach. Her nest companions had already made it into the ocean, but she was left behind.
Dylan lived at a few different nature centers before moving to the Georgia Aquarium and then the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. At these different centers, Dylan learned how to feed herself. Since loggerhead sea-turtles are a threatened species, it was important for Dylan to learn how to kill crabs and other sea creatures in order to live in the ocean.
When released into the ocean, at first Dylan became confused and swam parallel to the shore. After a little direction, though, she swam out into the sea. Her caretakers think she won’t return for 20 years – when she lays eggs on the beach. Dylan will be monitored and tracked with a transmitter she is wearing.
After being in captivity for her entire life it will be interesting to see if Dylan’s behavior follows that of a wild sea turtle. What a wondeful success story – we wish her the best of luck in the wild!