South Carolina Aquarium Hosts Public Release of Two Endangered Sea Turtles

May 29, 2024

Loggerhead Sea Turtles Rehabilitated at Aquarium Prior to Release on Folly Beach

The South Carolina Aquarium is thrilled to announce the successful release of two endangered loggerhead sea turtles, Brie and Gruyere, after extensive rehabilitation within their Sea Turtle Care Center™. The release, held last Wednesday afternoon on Folly Beach, drew a crowd of enthusiastic spectators who witnessed the turtles return to their natural habitat.

Gruyere’s journey began last December when s/he was found floating in Cape Cod, Massachusetts with a severely low body temperature. Alongside hundreds of other sea turtles, Gruyere was rescued by the New England Aquarium before being transported by Turtles Fly Too to Charleston to be treated for cold stunning and pneumonia in the Care Center. Despite her/his ailments, Gruyere’s resilience was evident when s/he began eating right away and recovered after only a few months of antibiotic treatment and rest.

Brie, found stranded on South Litchfield Beach last summer, suffered from debilitated turtle syndrome, leaving her thin, lethargic and severely dehydrated. Weighing only 69 pounds upon admit, Brie required intensive care including fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and a gradual increase in food. After nearly a year of treatment, Brie weighed in at a robust 120 pounds and was deemed ready to return to the ocean.

“Each of these sea turtles captured the hearts of our guests, but Brie, who had been with us for so long, was particularly special,” said Melissa Ranly, Sea Turtle Care Center manager. “Many visitors made it a point to stop by on every trip to the Aquarium to check on her progress, celebrating each recovery milestone alongside us. It was incredibly meaningful to have so many of those supporters join us on the beach to witness her return to the ocean.”

The South Carolina Aquarium extends heartfelt gratitude to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Charleston County Parks, New England Aquarium, Turtles Fly Too, SCUTE Turtle Team and countless volunteers for their invaluable support and collaboration in the conservation effort required to help these endangered loggerheads in their journey from rescue to release.

The Aquarium hopes yesterday’s successful release sparks an interest in sea turtles and their conservation. Members of the public are encouraged to visit current patients in person at the Aquarium, where they have an inside look at biologists working to rehabilitate these sick and injured sea turtles. Every admission ticket and Aquarium membership directly contributes to the operations of the Care Center, as well as additional education programming and critical conservation work that reaches beyond the Aquarium walls.

For more information on the Sea Turtle Care Center, visit