The sea turtle “Bruce” that was shot four times in the neck has been nursed back to health and is returned into the wild on Tuesday.
Bruce and spent the majority of the year healing at Sea World’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Program. After being in SeaWorld San Diego’s care undergoing life-saving medical treatment since Jan. 25, Bruce will be returned at 11 a.m. on Oct. 25. to the San Diego Bay.
In January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrative officials found the adult male turtle in San Diego’s South Bay lethargic and breathing slowly. They then brought him to SeaWorld weighing 250 pounds, with gunshot wounds in his neck, dehydrated and suffering from lacerations and a crack in his underside. SeaWorld aquarists, animal care specialists and veterinarians treated Bruce with antibiotics, pain medication and rehydration fluids.
The reptile now weighs 300 pounds and able to forage on his own. Research scientists from NOAA outfitted Bruce with an acoustic transmitter that replaces the one Bruce had at the time of his rescue. They hope to monitor and track his movements in San Diego Bay and believe the threatened species will stay in the area.
A student and teacher from Ben Hulse Elementary School in Imperial, Calif. — grand prize winners of the SeaWorld Sea Turtle Essay Contest — assisted with the return. Jacob Sanchez wrote a creative and thoughtful essay on sea turtles’ natural history that included a way to help save sea turtles.