First sea turtle released from Whitney Laboratory


The Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Laboratory released their first rehabilitated sea turtle on Thursday, Jan. 21.

Micklers, a juvenile green sea turtle, was the sea turtle hospital’s 13th patient.

The sea turtle was found by a beach walker on Crescent Beach on Dec. 21. The patient was treated for cold stunning, low blood glucose and air trapped in its gastrointestinal tract.

“Micklers is the first of many sea turtles that Whitney’s Sea Turtle Hospital will rehabilitate and release back to its habitat,” Catherine Eastman, sea turtle program coordinator said in a news release. “This is an exciting day for the hospital and its supporters.”

The Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney Laboratory opened in October 2015. There are four 1,100 gallon tanks that can hold up to four turtles each located at the hospital.

Each tank has its own filtration system and the capability of using the center’s sea water system or it can be self-contained for quarantined sea turtles or for other special circumstances, for example, if red tide is present in the area.

Prior to the opening of this facility, injured or sick sea turtles found in Northeast Florida had to be transported miles away for treatment, the closest treatment and rehabilitation facility being the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island.

Whitney Laboratory is located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd. in southern St. Johns County.

For more information, to make a donation to the Sea Turtle Research and Rehabilitation fund, or to join the Friends of the Sea Turtle Hospital, visit