Local

Brevard Zoo to release sea turtle after 3 months of rehab for pneumonia

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Princess Hailey the sea turtle is set to return to her kingdom of the ocean next week.

Brevard Zoo officials said the loggerhead sea turtle will be released back into the Atlantic at 10 a.m. on Monday at James Nance Park.

WATCH CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS

Princess Hailey has been receiving treatment at the Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center since July 1 when boaters found her floating and lethargic by boaters.

The boaters said when they brought the turtle on board, large amounts of water came out of their mouth. Officials said a CT scan revealed that Princess Hailey had pneumonia.

Read: A dozen dachshunds rescued by Brevard County shelter after owner’s death

Days later, officials said they noticed bruising around Princess Hailey’s neck and front flippers.

“With this information, we suspect they were entangled in fishing line and had difficulty picking their head up to breathe and inhaling water, leaving them susceptible to pneumonia,” said Jess Patterson, Sea Turtle Healing Center coordinator.

Read: Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet caring for record number of injured gopher tortoises

Princess Hailey received antibiotics through a nebulizer daily for about a month, helping to clear the pneumonia.

Patterson said Princess Hailey will be remembered for her excellent behavior during her nebulization treatment.

Read: Looking back: Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida one year ago

“It felt like she understood that the treatment was helping her feel better,” she said.

Princess Hailey’s release on Monday will be open to the public and happen rain or shine.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

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.