Monday, June 30, 2008

Dylan gone wild

The Associated Press is reporting a nine-year-old sea turtle raised in captivity has been cruelly released by the government as part of an animal welfare-reform scheme:

A 150-pound sea turtle raised by humans returned to freedom on Monday after nine years of captivity, swimming away after the veterinarians who cared for her helped steer her toward the ocean.

Humans have raised the turtle, named Dylan, since she was found in August 1998 as a hatchling straggler on Jekyll Island's beach, left behind by her nest mates. She spent years at two nature centers before moving to the Georgia Aquarium, and later, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center at Jekyll Island.

The caretakers took the turtle to within 10 feet of water, and she scooted right in as about 300 people watched from the beach. She took an immediate right turn, swimming parallel to the beach. Terry Norton, head veterinarian at the Sea Turtle Center, helped wrestle the 150-pound turtle to turn her back out to sea.

He followed her out about 100 yards, going waist-deep into the water and then raised his arm, pointing out to sea to signal that the turtle was gone.

The sea turtle is being cruelly deprived of her right to free health care, food assistance, subsidized housing and mass transit. Most cruelly, the sea turtle is being denied her reproductive freedom to choose.

"The best thing for her would be to hang out here, get fat eating crabs and maybe 20 years from now we'll see her again laying eggs," Dodd said.