Georgia Rescue Celebrates First Public Release in 2 Years by Returning Turtle Duo to the Ocean

Adult female loggerheads Genie and Margoi returned to the ocean from a beach on Georgia's Jekyll Island in front of an audience of hundreds of animal lovers

Sea turtle release
Photo: Courtesy Jekyll Island Authority

Georgia sea turtles are enjoying big sendoffs again.

According to the Jekyll Island Authority, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, located on Jekyll Island, Georgia, enjoyed its first public release in two years.

On Friday, the center released two sea turtles that had been under its care for a little under a year back into the ocean, seeing the animals off at Great Dunes Beach.

The two turtles that returned to sea were two female adult loggerheads named Genie and Margoi. Genie ended up at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center in May 2021 after a boat strike. The painful incident left the sea turtle with a large chunk missing from her beak and a head fracture. It took Genie several months to start eating independently, but once she regained her strength and appetite, the turtle rebounded quickly.

Margoi arrived at the turtle rescue center in July 2021 after she was found debilitated and in need of help. The animal was covered in barnacles, leeches, and algae when she first checked in to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The facilities veterinarians also treated a deep abscess found on one of Margoi's flippers and a mass found on a different flipper. Like Genie, it took Marogi some time to heal, but she left the center fully recovered and ready for her release.

Sea turtle release
Courtesy Jekyll Island Authority
Sea turtle release
Courtesy Jekyll Island Authority

Both turtles were released on April 15 at Great Dunes Beach, where hundreds of people saw off the duo. Three school field trips came to the event to make sure Genie and Margoi started the next chapter of their lives surrounded by support.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center's first public release since 2019 was a success. The crowds saw both turtles safely and confidently return to the ocean.

The Jekyll Island Authority is hopeful that Margoi and Genie will return to the island to nest and lay their eggs in the future, especially since sea turtles are known for returning to their birthplace to make their nests.

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