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Rescued Florida endangered sea turtle finds new home in Mississippi

Posted at 4:27 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 16:27:20-04

A rescued Florida sea turtle is now settled into his new home at a brand new aquarium in Mississippi.

Banner, an endangered green sea turtle, was rescued in Brevard County back in 2016.

He was found floating in the water with several boat strike injuries. Floating is a common sign of injury after sea turtles are hit by boats.

Since he was found, he's been rehabilitating at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

But, unfortunately, Florida Fish and Wildlife deemed Banner un-releasable. His injuries would make it too hard for him to survive in the wild.

And while goodbyes are hard, for the team at the Florida Aquarium, it's bittersweet.

"If they can't go back to the wild, like in Banner's case, it's really exciting that he's able to go into a brand new facility," explains Rachel Thomas, a sea turtle biologist at the Florida Aquarium.

Banner is settled in his home at the Mississippi Aquarium and ready to teach their visitors about the special animals.

"We're excited that he's going to be able to teach people about sea turtles and show people how cool sea turtles are," says Thomas.

Thomas says about 1 in 1,000 of these sea turtles will make it from a hatchling to adulthood. Boat strikes are also a common injury in these endangered sea turtles. So, that's part of why the Florida Aquarium launched a facility last year to help rehabilitate the turtles.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to get the turtles back into the wild.