Saving Harry: the story of Harry the Healing Turtle & his trackable journey after release

Harry the Healing Turtle & His (Trackable) Journey after Release

Have you ever seen a dinosaur? Us neither, but we've come across a couple of amazing ancient animals here at Key West; many of them dating back to over 200 million years ago! Dinosaurs only about 65 million… true story. 

These ancient creatures have been around waaaay longer than all of us. Once Although they have survived much longer than us as a species, once in a while we cross paths with turtles that need our help to get back home. Here is when Harry enters into our lives and melts our hearts when it’s time for him to get him back to where he belongs. 

The story of Harry the Healing Turtle

Harry, an olive ridley turtle (not typical in our waters - in fact, only six have ever been documented here in Key West) was found tangled up in fishermen’s nets by a group of boaters. They saved his life. He had been tangled for so long that he nearly starved to death, emaciated, flippers damaged, barely able to move. He was taken to the nearby Turtle Hospital, where they fed him, treated his wounds, and nursed him back to life slowly.

Isn’t it sad that there is an entire hospital dedicated to treating hurt turtles? So many of these wonderful creatures suffer the same fate, and worse, as Harry. We’re so pleased that he was finally released back to his habitat on August 23rd.

Watch Harry the Turtle’s Release! 

On his back, he has a tracker where you can track where in the world Harry is, right now! This tracker will detach in a few weeks, until we can be more sure that Harry’s doing well. You can track his route here! 

Track Harry the Healing Turtle Here!

What is it about Harry and his peers that makes them so special? 

On the animal lover list, they’re definitely on the top 10. Here in Florida, they entered the favorite animal list for all of the tourists. Why?  For starters, these bad@sses have more time on earth than every other reptile, beating even crocodiles!! Amazing right? Not to mention, they live longer... about 100 years or so.

Following their reproduction, do you know that after the mating ritual (yes, they even have their own ritual) females gestate the eggs for a period of 2 to 3 weeks, while most species lay eggs during nighttime. After finding the perfect spot, they dig a hole (the hole is about 50 cm deep) depositing between approximately 100 eggs - and some even more than 300 - into the hole. Afterward, the turtle mother hides her precious eggs with sand so nobody can find them. Hatching will depend on the temperature generated by the sun on the ground where they are laid (it usually takes between 40 and 70 days to hatch). Here is an interesting fact: the temperature of the sand during incubation determines the sex of the sea turtles; at high temperatures, they are all born female.

They are great fun to watch, too! Just imagine for a moment, watching tons of tiny green newborns running as fast as they can, almost jumping into the ocean in front of you, on a regular afternoon with the sun glistening on the ocean surface while you enjoy a cold beer - that’s the dream. #keywestlife

Best season to spot nesting sea turtles at Florida

Most of the nesting season here at Florida occurs between May and October. This is an experience of a lifetime! You cannot ask for a better opportunity to watch how nature flows than during the nesting sea turtles season. So if you are looking for a unique spot to observe the magic of mother nature, you have to come to the right place.