ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. – A rare 475-pound endangered leatherback sea turtle found stranded on a South Carolina beach has been released into the ocean after five days of treatment at the South Carolina Aquarium.
The turtle, named Yawkey, was released Thursday on a wind-swept beach at the Isle of Palms northeast of Charleston.
Staffers from the aquarium and the state Department of Natural Resources carried the turtle to the surf in a box. The sides of the box were flipped down and, after a minute or two of hesitation, Yawkey moved into the surf as a group of about 75 people cheered.
Aquarium workers who treated Yawkey with antibiotics and fluids said it was important to get the turtle back to the ocean quickly because leatherbacks don't do well in captivity.