Brevard Zoo to Return Sea Turtle Nephron Back to the Ocean at Lori Wilson Park Today

Nephron recovered after ingesting about 200 centimeters of fishing line

Brevard Zoo will be returning juvenile green sea turtle Nephron back to the ocean on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 10:30 a.m. at Lori Wilson Park. (Brevard Zoo image)

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – Brevard Zoo will be returning juvenile green sea turtle Nephron back to the ocean on Thursday, Aug. 18, at 10:30 a.m. at Lori Wilson Park.

Media hoping to attend Nephron’s release are advised to arrive at the park at 10 a.m. to secure parking and check in with Communications Specialist Bri Wright.

Nephron arrived at Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center after being stranded in Port Canaveral on March 10, 2022 – World Kidney Day, which inspired their name.

Thank you to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society for bringing Nephron to our Healing Center for care.

Nephron had a fishing line coming out of their mouth.

Fishing lines can be very harmful to marine life, especially turtles.

We ask that everyone who enjoys fishing remember to pack their fishing gear before and after use and place the unwanted fishing line in the designated bins at waterfront parks.

While Nephron initially passed about 150 centimeters of fishing line, animal care staff saw during their daily ultrasounds that more fishing line remained in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Before undergoing surgery, Nephron needed a CT scan to see if they had tumors growing inside of their body, a symptom of fibropapillomatosis (FP).

This disease causes tumors to grow inside and outside a sea turtle’s body. After a CT scan at Rockledge Regional Medical Center showed no tumors, our animal care team moved forward with the major surgery to remove the fishing line from Nephron’s GI tract.

The surgery entails making a cut in the inguinal, or groin area, gently pulling the intestines out, and feeling the intestines for the fishing line.

An additional 50 centimeters of fishing line was removed from Nephron, bringing the total amount of fishing line Nephron ingested to about 200 centimeters.

Our Healing Center staff helped Nephron heal and prepare for another surgery to remove the small FP tumors from their body.

This surgery went well, and after more recovery, Nephron was deemed ready for release.

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