After almost five months of care, a 75-pound juvenile loggerhead sea turtle is once again swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.
The South Carolina Aquarium released Buxton into the sea early Wednesday after giving the turtle a clean bill of health.
The loggerhead was brought to the aquarium for rehabilitation after being found cold-stunned in January near Buxton, N.C.
Cold stunning occurs when sea turtles are exposed to sudden drops in coastal water temperatures. They undergo a hypothermic reaction, and symptoms include decreased heart rate, decreased circulation and lethargy all followed by shock, pneumonia, and in the worst case scenarios, death.
As part of the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program, Buxton’s initial treatment included antibiotics, fluids, vitamins and a healthy diet.