FORT MORGAN, Ala. (WKRG) — A reluctant release on Tuesday of a very young Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle who at times didn’t seem to know which way to go. That is completely understandable after being in captivity for more than a year.

It was late summer last year when Kathy Adams was called about a sea turtle struggling to survive. “There had been a storm. He got caught in the surf. He was pounded in rough surf, rougher than what the surf is today and he just got caught right at the edge and kept getting pounded and pounded and pounded.”

Even after he was rescued, it didn’t look good. “I knew he was in very dire straits of needing assistance,” said Adams. “I wasn’t sure he would survive.”

That’s where the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi came in. He didn’t have any physical injuries. Stranding technician Callie Austin said he just needed a little help. “He was definitely dehydrated, a little skinny so he definitely needed some food.” He weighed almost two pounds when he arrived at IMMS, he is almost eleven pounds now.

It is a full-circle moment for Adams who saw him at his worst and now at his best. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years so to see this and to see how they can thrive, it’s just heartwarming.

From rescue to release it doesn’t get any better than that.

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