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Paralyzed sea turtle gets new home in San Antonio

Autumn the green sea turtle.PNG
Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 18:55:26-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A long term resident at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute is almost ready to travel to her new home.

Autumn, a green sea turtle, just got her forever home. She will be moving up to Sea Life San Antonio.

It’s been a tough road for Autumn who came to the UTMSI Amos Rehabilitation Keep in 2014.

“When autumn came in she had paralyzed back flippers, which we usually see indicative of boat strikes when they’ve been floating and lethargic, especially during cold stunning,” Andrew Orgill said, animal rehabilitation manager. "They get hit along the back of their carapace which is their shell. Which causes a spinal fracture where they lose the feeling and paralysis in their back flippers."

Staff at the ARK have done what they can to keep Autumn healthy. She’s since gained 13 pounds and grown 3 inches.

“She’s fully healthy, she eats a lot of food," Walker said. "She’s always got a healthy appetite, but she floats. So, it would be difficult for her to find food and evade predation.”

The ARK has been looking for a permanent home for Autumn, but it’s all about timing.

"Green Sea Turtles are pretty common in the United States, more common than the other species, they’re still endangered," said Walker. "But there are a lot of them that need homes. A lot of aquariums have a few of these species on display already."

Sea Life San Antonio called saying they would love to have a Green Sea Turtle to bring their visitors some added joy.

“We will definitely miss her here, but it’s a good opportunity to reach out to other people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to see a sea turtle up close,” Orgill said.

“It’s so, like, bitter sweet kind of," Walker said. "We’re happy for her to go to a larger enclosure, but we’ll be sad to see her go too.”

Autumn will be moved to her new home on Monday.