Brevard County

Worth shell-ebrating: Brevard Zoo releases largest-ever sea turtle patient

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A 370-pound loggerhead sea turtle named Perseverance made her return to the ocean on Tuesday after a three-month stay at the Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center.

Perseverance, named after NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, earned the title of the zoo’s largest ever sea turtle patient.

READ: White sea turtle hatchling spotted on South Carolina beach

After zoo officials said she was seen struggling in late July, an exam showed abnormalities such as an old, healed injury on the shell; swelling and weakness.

After being induced into labor, veterinarians said she laid more than 100 eggs, which were buried in southern Brevard County.

READ: It’s sea turtle nesting season: Here are 9 ways you can help hatchlings survive

Three months of care and rehabilitation later, Perseverance returned to the sea from Cocoa Beach Friday morning.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.