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Big Mama and Coco Go Home
Remember Big Mama? Well, on Friday, October 22, Big Mama and another large Loggerhead nicknamed Coco were released and returned to their home in the Gulf of Mexico. Both these large turtles were rescued by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and rehabilitated by Audubon Nature Institute during the course of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Big Mama, officially named LA-17, was rescued on May 20, 2010 and became the third oiled sea turtle rescued and brought to Audubon Aquatic Center for care by LMMSTRP. While the previous two oiled turtles only required two staff members to care for them, Big Mama required seven to handle her and provide care. Due to her enormous size in comparison to the other oiled sea turtles, she was affectionately nicknamed Big Mama.
Coco, officially named LA-222, was rescued by LDWF on July 2, 2010. Coco got her nickname due to the fact that her carapace looked like a coconut floating in the water. She was not visibly oiled but was severely debilitated. She was so weak upon arrival at Audubon Aquatic Center she couldn’t even lift her head to breathe, so she had to be dry docked. Eventually, with a lot of hard work and dedication from staff, Coco made a full recovery.
Both Big Mama and Coco have been outfitted with satellite tags. Soon, you will be able to log on to www.seaturtle.org to watch them journey throughout the Gulf of Mexico. So far Big Mama has headed east and is around the panhandle of Florida. Coco has ventured in the opposite direction and has headed west toward the Louisiana/Texas border.
What will tomorrow hold? We never know but we are ready for anything and everything. Until then:
"For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."~Baba Dioum