Radley Tagged – By Tommy Cutt

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Photo by Kelly Griffith
Yesterday, in preparation for release, Radley was affixed with a tag by our research department. The process of selecting an individual turtle to receive a tag is determined by both the research and rehab departments with final approval by our research committee. Radley was chosen to receive the Mk10-AFB tag by Wildlife Computers. Wildlife Computer tags are designed for marine life and are preferred by our research department due to their ability to be programmed by the user. The Mk10-AFB will transmit GPS location and temperature data. We expect Radley’s tag to transmit for up to 1 year. Our research department will update Radley’s progress twice weekly.

Yesterday morning, I met Chris, Kelly, and Christy from our research department to begin Radley’s tagging process. We pulled Radley from the tank in our turtle yard and brought the turtle inside the hospital.

Chris and Kelly assessed the carapace of Radley upon being brought into the hospital and determined the best location for the tag to be placed. In order to reduce stress levels of the turtle, we placed a towel over its head and I applied direct pressure; we find this works in the majority of our patients while they receive treatments. Once the tag location was selected and Radley was safely contained, Kelly began to clean the site. All debris, including algae, is removed from the site where the tag is to be placed.

The tag is then placed on the carapace and tape is used to create a boundary of the area that will require epoxy. Epoxy is used to affix the tag to the turtle’s carapace.

Chris applies the epoxy while Kelly works to spread it evenly over the entire area. As the epoxy dried, Kelly used a plastic spoon to smooth the surface. Photo by Caroline Tapley

Radley Satellite Tag

Photo by Kelly Martin
Once all the epoxy has dried, Chris programs the tag.

The epoxy is then painted, allowing the tag to better blend in with the turtle’s carapace. Once the paint is dry, Radley was ready to be returned to the tank.

Photos by Sonja Strandlie
Radley along with Viking are scheduled to be released this Saturday at Noon on Juno Beach, behind the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. The release is dependent on weather and surf conditions. Stay tuned to our website for more information!

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