Delta, a loggerhead sea turtle, spent the first 15 months of her life in an aquarium tank, but now she is swimming free in the Atlantic Ocean, courtesy of the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and its Research Vessel Savannah.
Delta was hatched on Tybee Island on Aug.19, 2012 as a straggler, a juvenile sea turtle that does not successfully leave the nest. She was taken to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center. There she served as the Science Center's Ocean Ambassador and educated more than 49,000 thousand visitor.
Eventually, Delta grew too large for her tank and it became necessary to release her into the wild. Although the Atlantic Ocean is only a few steps from Science Center's front door, the water on the Tybee beaches is cool this time of year. Delta's caretakers at the Science Center wanted to release Delta into the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream.
The Tybee Island Marine Science Center contacted Skidaway Institute for assistance. Conveniently, Skidaway Institute scientist Gustav Paffenh