Clearwater Marine Aquarium to Release Sparky, a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA), a marine life rescue center, has rehabilitated a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle named ‘Sparky’ and will be releasing it on Tuesday, June 2 on Clearwater Beach behind the Sandpearl Resort at 10.30am.

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Sparky was brought to Clearwater Marine Aquarium on January 21, 2015, rescued by one of CMA’s divers who discovered him floating 22 miles offshore, west of Clearwater Pass. Upon intake, it was noted that Sparky was missing his right rear flipper (potential birth defect) and had a small abrasion on the top of his head.  He was also suffering from nutritional issues.

Nutrition was provided to Sparky through an IV solution named Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) which provides all nutrition, or total nutrition, intravenously.  The formula contains protein, carbohydrates, glucose, fat, vitamins, and minerals and is applied to injured or chronically ill sea turtles that are unable to eat in the traditional manner.  Clearwater Marine Aquarium has pioneered the use of this treatment in sea turtles, which is also often used in human patients. 

As CMA dealt with Sparky’s nutrition issues, it was discovered that he had a slight case of pneumonia, which required a medical regimen to treat. Sparky now has a clean bill of health and is ready for release back into the Gulf of Mexico.  

Since 2010, CMA has provided medical care to 379 sea turtles.  This is the 11th sea turtle CMA has released in 2015. Duke Energy helps support Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation program 

Turtle release details:

  • Media and the public are invited to attend the release on Clearwater Beach at Sandpearl Resort.  Please arrive by 10.30 am, June 2.   
  • Media should inform the Sandpearl Resort valet they are covering the Clearwater Marine Aquarium turtle release.

Sea Turtle Nesting Update: To date, Clearwater Marine Aquarium has located 24 loggerhead nests this season, which began May 1 and concludes the end of October.  

About Clearwater Marine Aquarium:      
We believe in preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to preserving our marine life and environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.  CMA is home to rescue dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter, the dolphin’s story of survival after injury that caused her to lose her tail, has impacted millions of people around the world. A major motion picture, Dolphin Tale, highlighted her life story in 2011. The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, was released in September 2014 and features the incredible story of Hope, a young resident dolphin of CMA. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world.


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