Tybee’s famous turtle returns home to ocean after 3 years of growth


TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — Days after her third birthday, a loggerhead turtle famous on Tybee Island returned home Wednesday.

The Tybee Island Marine Science Center took Addy in as a rescue back in 2018. She and five other hatchlings were found abandoned in a trash can inside a bathtub at the Admiral’s Inn.

The center released five of the hatchlings into the ocean at the time but kept Addy on board as “marine debris ambassador.”

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After three years of growth, she was released back into the ocean at the middle crossover at Tybee’s North Beach parking lot.

A large crowd gathered to watch her departure. As she felt the waves, Addy began to swim faster and faster.

Cathy Sakas, president of the Tybee Island Marine Science Centers Board of Trustees, said the turtle was less than 2 inches when she was found.

“Addy has grown by leaps and bounds over the last three years since she and five nestmates were saved,” Sakas said. “The housekeeper knew just what to do by calling this center… by the time of her release she will be a whopping 35 pounds!”

Addy successfully passed all health tests and is expected to grow even more in her new Atlantic Ocean home.

Addy as a baby loggerhead in 2018

The loggerhead was tagged and chipped, according to Sakas, so she’ll be recognized should she return to lay her eggs on Tybee in 20 years or so.

“Contributions made to Addys Adventure will go towards maintaining the new 4,600-gallon tank that will hold our younger loggerhead sea turtle hatchling when he outgrows his current tank in the West Gallery on the main floor,” Sakas said.

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