The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center welcomed a new turtle to the family this week and the little girl is feisty.
Sweet Pea is a juvenile green sea turtle weighing in at just 17 pounds. She small, but she is mighty.
And visitors checking her out might do a double take because this young turtle has overcome some big trauma.
Sweet Pea was rescued Aug. 26, 2016, in Alabama and brought to the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. team. She was found wrapped in fishing gear both inside and out.
“She was a hot mess when we got her,” said Meredith Horn, director of marketing and communications for Gulfarium. “We coined her our ‘miracle survivor.’”
This miracle survivor had suffered severe trauma to her left side. Her front left flipper was badly damaged and had to be amputated.
One of her back flippers also had some paralysis due to the trauma.
Because of the extent of her injuries, Sweet Pea was deemed non-releasable by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which made her a good fit for the NBSTCC.
And since then her injuries have not slowed her down. Already her care takers say she is zooming around her pool like it’s nothing. Like any other kid, she loves to play with her food, toying with her PVC lettuce holder before chomping down.
More than just finding a forever home, Little Sweet Pea, has a mission to save other sea turtles from human impact. The result of her trauma can be readily seen and is a message in itself.
With the help of her caregivers Sweet Pea tells visitors how they can help protect not only sea turtles but other marine species for years to come.
Sweet Pea is ready to say hello to you and your family. Plan your vacation today.