Official Statement From Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Issued August 24, 2011:

Loggerhead Marinelife Center is deeply saddened to report that Andre, the sea turtle that captured the attention and adoration of the community, was found deceased on Hutchinson Island early this morning in such a poor condition that a cause of death could not be determined.

The scientific advancements we made while rehabilitating Andre are already being applied in the treatment of other threatened and endangered sea turtles.  With ongoing community support, we will continue our work in education, research and rehabilitation with incredible passion. We are committed to making sure sea turtles live in an ocean that is free from threats to their survival. The sad and unexpected news of Andre’s passing reminds us that his plight inspired many people to understand the continued need for ocean conservation.

We’d like to thank the community, our volunteers and the countless people from all over the world that supported Andre during his rehabilitation at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.   If you would like a place to share your feelings, please feel free to post your comments below.

83 comments

  1. Such sad news… We visited the center in July and were fascinated by Andre’s story. We continued to check on him on the web once we came home and shared his story with our friends and family.

  2. this is so so sad. we visited the center this past Sunday and i read about his release. What an amazing story. So sorry for all involved.

    We have been coming to lake worth beach for 15 years now…this is the first year i noticed large garbage washing up on the beach…toothbrushes, bottle caps, plastic bottles…it was so so sad. i have never seen so much garbage…we really need to clean up our oceans. i also saw dead fish onshore too…we must take care and clean it up. thanks for all you do at the center!

    • You are so very right. My brother lives in Lake Worth and we went to the beach there and Briny Breezes. We were so upset at all the trash on the beach; everything from styrofoam coolers to cans, bottles, etc. We took a trash bag and picked some of it up. Everyone needs to consider our animal friends before littering. This isn’t our world; we are just borrowing it.

  3. I’m so saddened to hear this news about Andre. It breaks my heart. Thank you Loggerghead Marinelife Center for all the care you gave him.

  4. AS A VOLUNTEER AT LOGGERHEAD MARINELIFE CENTER I WATCHED THE MIRACULOUS RECOVERY OF ANDRE. I AM DEEPLY SADDENED TO HEAR HIS LOSS.

  5. The girls from Junior Girl Scout troop #20929 that adopted Andre and fell in love with him will be very sad to hear the news….hopefully he has found peace and didn’t suffer too much.

  6. Perhaps his purpose in this life was to come to us and help be the one to push said scientific advancements.

    Although he has passed, what we learned from him will undoubtedly save an infinite amount of sea turtles in the future.

  7. So very sad…no doubt that Andre lived much longer in the Marinelife Center than he would have otherwise. I visit the Center often and I love it~it is quite obvious how well the turtles are all taken care of. Thank you all for all the hard work you all do~it is greatly appreciated by me and many others.

  8. This is such sad news. As sad as we in the community feel, I can only imagine the sense of emptiness that those of you who did the actual hands-on loving care must feel. Will you be doing an autopsy? Do we know if the death was caused by man, other animals, or what? Getting a bit more information might help us bring some closure to this unexpected loss.
    Audrey Ades

  9. We are very sad by the horrible news that Andre has passed. I know for a fact that every employee, volunteer worked very hard for Andre. our deepest condolences to everyone that loved and supported Andre. The Barbosa Family

  10. How sad to hear this. When I scrolled down the page I saw the interview about the technique used to help repair his shell. Perhaps he was out of the sea for too long and was too weak to make it. Whatever the reason for his death, you are to be commended for the excellent work you do.

  11. So sad to hear this. Thanks to the marine center for giving him so much care and respect and giving him a chance to go back to from which he came.

  12. Very shocked and saddened to hear the news that Andre has passed! My daughter and I were at the release of Andre and we were so happy to be a part of that special day. I hope he didn’t suffer! RIP Andre!

  13. My heart breaks for all that gave him one more year of life, and the health to be released back to his world. I know so much was learned from him that will help turtles for years to come. Seeing Andre’s recovery over the last year was a memory I will keep forever!

  14. Andre-
    So very sad to hear of your passing! You were an inspiration to the Florida community and an example of miracuous second chances. A big thank you to Loggerhead Marinelife Center for keeping Andre alive for another year! RIP ANDRE WE WILL MISS YOU!

  15. I’m so sorry, LMC, to hear about Andre. I enjoyed watching him on the live cam a few months ago. However, God wanted Andre home with Him. May God comfort you during this time. Thank you for taking excellent care of Andre. You were able to make a huge difference in his and other’s lives. Please continue your work and give my love to the other Sea Turtles!

  16. I am heartbroken to hear this news. We have visited Andre at the Center and learned of his plight and fortunate recovery. I am so sad to hear of his passing after so much of a fight he gave to live-I suppose he was able to return to his home for his final days which is a blessing. Thank you LMC for the extraordinary work you facilitate to these beautiful creatures and your endless dedication to them-I am glad they have you on their side!

  17. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about Andre. I followed along on his rehabilitation at LMC via the website and with visits to the center and was so happy when he was released. The doctors and staff of LMC gave Andre a second change at life, but unfortunately, God had other plans. Hopefully, with the ground breaking procedures done on Andre will help to save the lives of other sea turtles. RIP Andre

  18. I really don’t have an educational background when it comes to sea turtles, I only know what I have learned from my interest and love in them and I wonder if perhaps because he was in captivity for so long he forgot how to survive on his own. I watched his release into the ocean and noticed that he did not want to go to the ocean and he actually had to be lifted up and placed in the ocean. Maybe we should learn from his actions since he did hesitate to return to the ocean, that he knew something that we didn’t. Hopefully, if this ever happens again we would take a turtles reluctance in returning to the ocean as a sign that they are not ready to return to the ocean. Sometimes signs in life or living things actions are about observations and feelings and not all text book/scientific things. I am so saddened by this, it breaks my heart!!!

    • I had the same thought. I was visiting my brother and had to leave a day before Andre was released. A friend of mine went and reported to me afterward that he was reluctant. That gave me a bad feeling when I heard about it. I too thought maybe he wasn’t ready and he was trying to say it in the only way we humans could understand. I am so sad for Andre and hope he got to surf some waves before his passing.

    • oh victoria, I am in tears writing this. I was at LMC when Andre was first brought in and followed him throughout his stay at LMC. I also was there to watch Andre’s release into the ocean. I agree, he did not want to go. so I ask: why did we force him to go? while I applaud everything the center does and support it in every way, maybe Andre just wanted to stay with us. deepest sympthy for all the caregivers. Andre was a special gift.

  19. I was shocked to hear about Andre. I was there to see him released and although I know how challenging life can be for even a healthy sea turtle, I though Andre had good vibes from all of his fans to perservere. A silver lining in this dark cloud is that the work done by Loggerhead Marine Life Center on Andre will benefit other turtles that are found in bad shape. Thanks for all the hard work done to protect one of the most majestic and charasmatic marine organisms we know.

  20. We were so saddened to hear about the loss of Andre. My family and I were fortunate enough to meet him this summer when we visited Marinelife Center. We instantly fell in love with Andre, the Center and the dedicated volunteers that care for these wonderful creatures!

  21. Very sad news. Your work with Andre, and other turtles is amazing. He was obviously a fighter, but couldn’t have done it without your amazing surgery to repair the hole in his shell and allow him to breathe. Thank you for caring and taking the time and energy and resources to keep our oceans populated with these beautiful creatures,

  22. Hearing this literally brought me to tears. I visited Andre several times at the Center and my husband and daughter were there at his release. They got several pictures of him that morning, one of which shows his flipper up out of the water and in the air. My husband said at the time that it was as if he was waving a final goodbye to his human family as he began his journey back home. Andre lifted our hearts and whatever the outcome, we no doubt lifted his – just by allowing him to be free to swim the ocean once more. Thanks to LMC for doing what you do – for them and for us.

  23. This is so sad. FossilEDU was at Andre’s release and we were excited to have ‘met’ him the day before his release.

    Thanks LMC for all your work. Perhaps the techniques used on Andre will be able to save countless others.

  24. visiting LMC is one of my favorite things to do. anytime I visit the turtles it is always bittersweet. I love getting to see them but I also always keep in mind that all the turtles there are injured and in need of care. thank you LMC for all you do.

    Andre’s return to the ocean was short lived, and hearing the news has me really upset, but I know that all you did for him was not without merit and there are many sea turtles who will get a second chance because of all the hardwork you put into the treatment of Andre.

    Thank you!

  25. It’s more than sad to hear this heartbreaking news about this brave sea turtle with such a big will to live.

    We were visitors from Germany at the Marinelife Center 2009 and returned a few times to that wonderful place.

    Last year we adopted Andre and pursued his unbelievable story.

    August, the 3rd, we also made a little “Andre Release Party” at home in Germany an were very happy about these good news.

    Now it is breaking our hearts to hear about Andre’s early death, just a few weeks after his return back into the ocean. And the fact not to be able to know what caused his death is even more upsetting.

    Our thoughts are with this remarkable and gentle sea turtle…..

  26. I started volunteering at LMC immediately after Andre was brought in so I followed him progress on a weekly basis. My classroom adopted him last year so he became a part of our lives. Such a sad thing to hear this morning. RIP Andre. You are loved and dearly missed!

  27. My husband and I saw Andre shortly after he was brought in to LMC, and we were there for his release in August. This is so sad, I feel for all of you that tried so hard to save him. Every few days I have thought of Andre and wondered where in the sea he was. Thank you LMC for everything you did to get him back to where he belonged. Your work will knowingly help many other sea turtle that end up in peril.

  28. So sad and So angry. Why and what could we or should we have done differently. I guess sometimes we just have to know we did all we could and let go of all the rest. I am sorry for my loss and sorry for Your loss. Carl

  29. I remember meeting Andre during this year’s Turtle Fest. I loved watching him be released, and remember thinking he didn’t seem to want to go. He seemed to be a very personable turtle. I’m sure he loved being back in the ocean, and hope he was very happy before he left. Please keep up the important, stellar work you do at the Marine Life Center

  30. I am sooo sad to read this news. My heart skipped a beat. I was there when we released him back into the ocean and will always remember his flipper wave back to us as he swam off into his destiny. I trust that the universe has a plan for him and us as a result of this beautiful relationship between science and nature. Peace to the ocean and all of her critters. Laura

  31. This is heartbreaking news. We visited Andre whenever we were in the area and followed his story as did so many others. The people at LMC have so much passion and dedication and do such important work. My heart goes out to all at LMC at their loss.

  32. I am deeply saddened, but also amazed and inspired by the outpouring of love on this page. Andre touched something in so many of us. I hope and pray that we will take that energy and use it to help and protect other sea turtles from harm. I for one am planning a beach clean-up in Andre’s honor. Long live Andre’s spirit and the human ability to care of he earth’s beautiful creatures.

    • Tears stream down my face and my heart sinks some today from the loss for an amazing Sea Turtle named Andre . Andre went through an amazing journey with the love, devotion and kindness of so many. The folks who were hands on nurturing Andre back to health, the support from others who witnessed and cheered his release back to the sea and the supporters who cheered from a distance and countless others who prayed and held Andre in their hearts…. I am UPLIFTED by the camaraderie for such a wonderful and important cause. Thank You. I believe Andre’s story is yet still a success, so many proved when we come together for the “healing” of nature and our animal family hearts can be healed, spirits are lifted and miracles are achieved. Andre you will be missed! Much LOVE goes with you on your new quest. Andre, you are defenetly a legend and your experience will benefit so many others. May you now live in peace and comfort.

  33. When I moved to Jupiter over a year ago now, the first thing I found was LMC and the beautiful sea turtles of this area. Andre was a special patient undergoing advanced rehabilitative treatment and had a remarkable recovery over the next 11 months at LMC with the help of incredibly dedicated and talented LMC staff members along the way. His recent release back to the wild was a triumph and his memory shall live on in my heart as I walk these beaches and spot a new hatchling finding his way into the surf… Thank you LMC for your most important mission – to rescue, rehabilitate, and release these magnificent sea turtles. My awareness is thanks to you.

  34. My first feeling was shock and sadness at the news of Andre. But how marvelous that through Andre, LMC attracted so many (doctors/dentists, researchers, educators, students, visitors of ALL ages) to learn about the fragility of life in our oceans and how we humans effect that environment.. Thank you. Andre.

  35. Our deepest sympathy on the loss of Andre. We enjoyed our visits with him when he was at the Marinelife Center and shared his joy upon being returned to his home in the Ocean. Your work with Sea Turtles is so admirable and we are proud to be in our small way associated with you.

  36. My wife sent me the news re Andre and was news I did not expect after the incredible work you all did to save his life and for others learn about your process to heal him, Hopefully his short life after re-entering the sea was a happy one.
    Jerry from Mundelein IL

  37. I am so sorry to hear about Andre. My heart goes out to everyone that helped him recover. I know the heart broken feeling of a sea turtle loss. I have worked as a volunteer at the SCA sea turtle hospital. When they are with you for that length of time, you become so attached, their release is bitter-sweet. Then finding them washed up deseased causes so many questions unanswered in your mind. We can only pray tthat they did not suffer. My heart is very sad.

  38. What caused you to leave us isn‘t nearly as important as what you left behind. “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” Let’s return the favor to Andre. Let’s get more human beings involved so that they can understand and try to make things right.

  39. I am very sad to hear of Andre’s passing. He was a majestic and beautiful animal. I thought about him often over the past year. Visiting him was difficult, as it was hard to look at the extent of his injuries. I worried that he would not recover, and was truly overjoyed to see him heal and make it to release.

    It was hard to let go, and we all hoped that he would thrive back in his natural environment. But his injuries and frailty may have been too much for him to overcome. Swimming away, he seemed hesitant, maybe not ready to take on the rigors of the ocean again. I wondered what would happen and hoped that he would okay.

    The quality of care and loving kindness Andre received were true expressions of our humanity. LMC did the very best for him, and he got a second chance at life though their efforts. Despite the outcome, we applaud the heroic efforts made.

    We all grieve Andre’s loss, and through our tears we look forward to future opportunities to fix our ailing planet and all of its inhabitants. In his memory, let us spearhead ocean conservation and work to make our planet whole again.

  40. My nieces and nephew always enjoy visiting Loggerhead when in FL. I know they saw and loved Andre and will be sad to hear about him. But we must continue to educate our children and tell them the truth about our environment and how we hurt it and how we can change that. Thank you, Andre. Let us celebrate Andre’s life and battle and thank all the environmentalists and volunteers who helped him and continue to safeguard his fellow creatures.

    julian
    nyc

  41. So sad about Andre. He has captured the hearts of many. With a heavy heart I say R.I.P. Andre.
    To the wonderful people at the Marinelife Center, you are all amazing for what you do. My heart goes out to you.

  42. My heart hurts!!! I am so very sorry and saddened to hear of Andre’s passing. My heart goes out to ALL at LMC who dedicated so much care, love, effort and support to the rehabilitation of Andre! We can take solace in knowing that his incredible will to live brought him the opportunity to experience the ocean- his natural environment, one last time. I pray he did not suffer.

  43. I can not express how sad I am to hear the news that Andre is gone. I got so emotionally attached to him doing the video of his recovery and release. I can only hope he enjoyed the time he had back in the ocean. Love and healing goes out to all others touched so deeply by the news. I can’t imagine how sad this must have been for the wonderful people that worked so hard to save him. You all did an amazing job and I thank you again for your efforts.~Tracy

  44. Andre had such devastating injuries that he put all of his strength into surviving. Releasing him to fend for himself all over again was obviously too much for him, and I don’t understand why that decision was made. He should have been kept safe at the Marinelife Center as inspiration to visitors and an example of the advances in medicine, not sent out into the cruel seas.

  45. I was sad to hear that Andre passed away. I know returning him to the wild may have seemed like the right thing to do, but I don’t know. Maybe he forgot how to care for himself after being in captivity for so long? Either way, I hope he is in a peaceful place and I hope he didn’t suffer. Rest in peace Andre!
    – Lindsay

  46. Andre’s story was one of great fascination for me and I was so happy that he was able to return to his home in the ocean. I was hoping that someday a story would emerge of where he was and how he was doing so of course hearing of his passing has made my heart sad. I hope he enjoyed his last 3 weeks of being free to roam and that he did not suffer as he had been thru enough of that already. He is in my thoughts and Prayers as I’m sure he is with others around the World as well. This story was a great reminder of how much we as a people of the World need to respect other life forms here on Earth as we share this planet with them. After all, they were here first and will probably be here long after us.

  47. Very sad to read this today. My thoughts go out to Loggerhead Marinelife Center for all their hard work and dedication as well as all conservationist that work hard to protect those like Andre.

  48. I was so sad when I received the news about Andre, from the Marinelife Center!! I’ve been following his progress for over a year now and was thrilled when he was able to return to the ocean. This is news I did NOT want to hear!!

  49. Very Sad news… My family and I had the opportunity to meet Andre back in April. My heart goes out to all the people that helped rescue Andre. I still don’t understand why the decision was made to release Andre? I’m sure it was made with all the best intentions but realistically the sea was too much for him to handle.

  50. My tears are stinging as I sit reading about the death of Andrea. I wish he had stayed with you, but know he was a wild animal and that he had to return to the sea. I am certain you are all devastated, especially those of you who came to know and love Andre. Love to all of you, and to Andre.

  51. I met Andre on my first visit to LMC. What a wonderful place to live. We need to learn as much as possible to keep these beautiful creatures safe. I will remember Andre always so glad that he was released back to his home. I will continue to teach children about these wonderful sea creatures. I will never forget him. RIP Andre

  52. I can’t help but wonder the same thing and I applaud you for having the strength to say out loud the nagging feeling I have of did-he-really-need-to-go-back? After all, he didn’t stretch out to the ocean when he was placed on the shore a few weeks ago and humans choose to place him into the ocean instead of letting him find his way. Maybe he just wasn’t meant to be out there again…I trust some day we’ll discover what the bigger picture was in his journey.

  53. I wish that he had been kept in an aquarium away from harm….this is so disheartening. It makes me incredibly sad to hear this and my heart grieves not only for Andre but for all the people that assisted in his care up until his release.

  54. I was heartbroken to hear about Andre’. He was loved by everyone tending to him and by all of those who met him or read his story. If I’m this heartbroken, I can’t imagine how everyone at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center must feel. Andre’ was special and will remain so forever — his legacy being the new medical techniques and technology that will be used to heal others.

  55. I have had pain in my heart and tears in my eyes all day after reading about Andre this morning. I visited the center in July a week before Andre was to be released. I wanted to stay and see Andre being released but had to get back home to SC. I was so touched by his story. I wasn’t there to cheer his release but I was cheering from home and so happy that Andre was going home. I will always remember him and the impact that the center had on me and made me love turtles more than I did already. R.I.P Andre, I will keep you in my heart forever.

  56. I was on vacation in June from Pittsburgh and got to visit the Marine Life Center for the first time. I had heard so much about this place I just had to come here.
    I am so sorry and heart broken to hear about the loss of Andre. Everybody will remember him and everything he went through was not in vain. Because of Andre sea turtles have a chance for survival and recovery due to all the technology used with Andre.
    I am so moved by everything that gets done for these turtles and Andre was very special.
    I am so glad I got to witness the marine life center and see Andre while I was there.

  57. My heart aches that Andre is now gone from this world, but he will always be with me. I was amazed at his recovery and will to live,which makes it all the more sad that he had to be taken so soon after he was taken home. I was there rooting for him with my grandchildren, what a day!!! He will live on as so many people were touched by his story. The love and care that he was given by all at the LMC has not been in vain. We will miss you Andre and we love you, Andre the wonder turtle…….RIP

  58. I am so sad to hear of Andre’s passing. It breaks my heart and made me cry. I guess God needed him in Heaven. I hope he did not suffer after he was released. Thanks to everyone who helped to save his life and rehabilitate and take care of this beautiful creature. God bless you, and may God bless Andre.

  59. I was very sorry to hear about Andre and I’m sure that everyone at the Center is heartbroken.
    After his very severe injuries and all those months of rehab, when I saw him released into the ocean, I wondered why. He just didn’t seem ready.
    While you (LMC) made great strides in treatment for other turtles through his treatment, like others have mentioned here, it appears that for Andre going back was not in his best interest.
    It’s a very sad day. RIP

  60. I was honored to see Andre released while I was on vacation. It wad such an exciting day for him and all of the people who took care of him.

    Hearing about Andre has been very sad for me, but I was honored to learn of him and his story. Loggerhead Marinelife Center should be proud of all that they did for Andre and all of the turtles that they save every day. May Andre rest in peace.

  61. Like others, we were saddened to hear the news about Andre. We wish, however, that the Center would be more forthcoming about what actually happened and about whether this incident has had or will have any impact on future rehabilitation/release policies. We visited the Center sometimes weekly and certainly no less than 2x/month during the last year and watched Andre’s very slow progress. Even the week before his release it seemed clear that his buoyancy/equilibrium was not entirely back to normal. Perhaps it never would have been, given that the density of the material used to seal his shell was different from the density of the shell itself. Was it not, then, something of a risk to release him? (Not saying it wasn’t the thing to do, just saying that perhaps it was never very likely to be the great success the Center seemed to predict.) Does the Center have a policy about not keeping turtles beyond a year? Are there never cases in which turtles simply must stay permanently at the Center, as though it were a zoo (and, in that case, how about raising funds to create a large turtle tank for those that can never go back)? Or, alternately — and we realize that it is a painful decision — shouldn’t different choices perhaps be made about euthanizing certain animals? In Andre’s case, it strikes me that the Center essentially experimented on him for a year, learning a very great deal in the process that may help other injured turtles, but that it was probably quite obvious that he was never going to make it in the wild. Was it simply better and more cost-effective to release him and “let nature take its course” than euthanize or decide to house him permanently?

  62. I adopted Andre on a trip from the UK in April 2011. He was a giant by name and he leaves a giant hole in my heart. Now at peace, I hope his innovative therapy can be put to good use to help other turtles in need. He will always have a special place in my memories. Steve J

  63. So sorry to hear! We had visited last summer and met Andre and all the rest of his turtle friends. We were very excited to see in the paper that he was being released not so long ago. My son (who is 8) thought it was cool to tell everyone who saw the article in our local paper, that he had met Andre personally.

  64. My daughter, Kaitlin introduced me and my husband to Loggerhead and Andre when she worked there. Even though she recently moved back to WI, part of her heart is still on that beach with those turtles! I know that we weren’t the only two who cried after hearing the sad news about Andre. That’s the effect that LMC can have on a person…

  65. We are very sorry to hear about Andre’s passing. We met him the Thursday before he was released. We will always remember Andre as a beautiful, brave turtle. He taught us alot during the short time we spent with him. My children are devastated that he didn’t make it. he will forever be in our hearts…. WE LOVE YOU ANDRE!!!

  66. My family and I are all devastated by Andre’s loss. He was a courageous little guy, and I’m glad that you were able to extend his life as long as you did. We’ll never forget Andre, we’ll always love him.

  67. When I found out about Andre’s passing, I was devastated. I’ve been spending my summers down the road from LMC in West Palm my whole life and somehow only came to know about the center within the past few years. Andre was the first turtle I ever became attached to. I saw him when he first arrived, and then when I visited again this past summer, I was so overwhelmed with how much progress he had made. I was very happy to find out I would still be in Florida when he was set for release and I even went to the beach a whole 3 hours early to make sure I saw him. Andre has meant such a great deal to me and, even though I currently live in the northeastern US, I do see my future taking me in a direction where I get to spend more time in Florida with the turtles. Andre, from the first day I “met” him, has certainly been an inspiration for me. His picture hangs above my desk and I am so grateful to have known him. Andre, you were such a beautiful being and you’ve done so much to help spread awareness about sea turtles! You are, and will always be, greatly missed.

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