The young Hawksbill sea turtle rescued on Caneel Bay Resort’s Hawksnest Beach on St. Patrick’s Day and nicknamed Paddy was released by National Park Service employees back into the waters of Hawksnest Bay on Thursday morning, May 21.
Flailing its flippers, the foot-long juvenile turtle was ready to get back in the water after a two-month stay at Coral World where personnel nursed Paddy back to health by supplementing the turtle’s natural diet which includes squid and clams with some extras.
Paddy was found to have sand and pieces of shell in her digestive track, according to one NPS employee.
Paddy quickly took to the waters off the beach surfacing several times about 15 feet off shore before heading out into the bay from the resort beach as NPS employees and a few resort guests watched.
Young turtles return to their place of birth after spending their early years at sea, according to experts.
Unlike Green sea turtles, Hawksbill turtles do not eat sea grass. As they mature, Hawksbills start eating sponges and coral.