MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A malnourished sea turtle found in Murrells Inlet has been rehabilitated and was released back into the ocean on Saturday.
According to a press release from Ripley's Aquarium, the turtle was found stranded on the shore near Magnolia Beach by a walker and taken to the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.
Upon initial examination, the turtle, who has since been named "Magnolia," was found to be emaciated, anemic, covered in barnacles and made little effort to move, the release stated.
Magnolia was given fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and her vitals were routinely checked until it was determined she was strong enough to travel.
In July, Magnolia was moved to Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, the release stated.
Stephanie Lambeth, with Ripley's Aquarium, said Magnolia is around 30 years old and still has another 50 pounds to grow.
To help with Magnolia's rehabilitation, she has been fed squid, according to Lambeth.
The animal husbandry team at Ripley's also worked to remove barnacles from Magnolia's shell and conducted blood tests and check-ups to ensure she was making progress, the release stated.
Since her arrival at Ripley's, her weight has grown to 202 pounds, according to the release.
Magnolia was released back into the ocean Saturday at 8 a.m., on the beach at Huntington Beach State Park.
The public was invited to attend.