Sea Turtle Relearns to Swim After Two Flipper Amputations: 'A Great Show of Determination'
"It took him a while but once he got going, he was moving at great speed," said one caregiver of Lou's swimming
Just keep swimming!
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island, Australia, documented on Facebook the moment their sea turtle named Lou returned to the ocean after having two of his flippers amputated.
The endangered olive ridley sea turtle, according to Times Now News, had to have his front left flipper and rear right flipper amputated after sustaining injuries in a fishing net incident. After five years of rehabilitation from his care team, Lou learned to swim again and was released back into the wild.
"Lou, after a long journey by plane and 4 wheel drive, was released on the Cape this morning. It was a wonderful release and huge thanks to everyone who has made this possible. You’ve got this Lou!" the rehab center wrote.
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Jennie Gilbert, the co-founder of the rehab center, told the local Cairns Post that the animal's success story demonstrates "determination and resilience."
"It took him a while but once he got going, he was moving at great speed. It’s a great show of determination and resilience," said Gilbert. "The cute thing was there was a smaller turtle who took a peek at Lou. It was almost like the small one saying, 'Welcome back to the country.'"
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The rehab center shared images of Lou leading up to his return to the open waters, including one in which they wrote: "'Lord Lou' is dressed and ready to go!!"
"Lou has left the building, and had begun his long journey back home to his waters up the Cape. Flying out tomorrow yay! see ya later Fitzroy!" the center wrote on Oct. 27.
According to National Geographic, olive ridley sea turtles are commonly found in warmer waters, and the reptiles can live to be 50 years old.