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Sea turtle restored to health at Clearwater aquarium released back in Gulf

Posted: 5:16 PM, Oct 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-27 21:31:31Z
Sea turtle released in Gulf after month at CMA
Sea turtle released in Gulf after month at CMA
Sea turtle released in Gulf after month at CMA
Sea turtle released in Gulf after month at CMA

Surrounded by an adoring crowd of onlookers, Xeno, a female loggerhead sea turtle, was carried to freedom at Clearwater Beach Thursday.

Workers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium lugged the 130-pounder into the Gulf of Mexico behind the Sandpearl Resort and released her about 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27.

Xeno spent slightly more than a month in veterinary care at the Clearwater aquarium. 

The sea turtle arrived at Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Sept. 17. Brian Mahardy, dive coordinator at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, found the turtle about 15 miles offshore in the Gulf, floating and unable to dive.

An X-ray exam at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater revealed an extensive amount of shell-like material in the turtle's GI tract, which likely caused the buoyance problem.

Once Xeno was able to pass the shell material and given a series of vitamin injections and antibiotics, she was cleared for released.

The sea turtle was outfitted with a satellite tag, which will allow the aquarium to track her for several months to monitor her well-being.

It marks the third time Clearwater Marine Aquarium, in partnership with the Sea Turtle Conservancy, will monitor a satellite tag it attached to sea life.