Three-flippered turtle set free


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- McClellan lost one of her front flippers, but that hasn't slowed her down.

The Sea Turtle Hospital at the S.C. Aquarium released its 83rd turtle back into the wild on Friday. McClellan, a 230-pound adult female loggerhead, has spent the last 4 months recovering in the sea turtle hospital.

"She got entangled in a discarded crab trap rope," said sea turtle biologist Christi Hughes. "It wrapped around her flipper and once she was entangled, she also got hit by a boat. So, the back of her shell is damaged by a boat, so her injuries are pretty severe."

Sea Turtle Rescue Manager, Kelly Thorvalson, said sea turtle are able to adapt to the loss of a limb and are able to migrate no differently than turtles with four limbs.

Recovery isn't cheap though, in fact it costs $36 a day to treat each sea turtle. Money to support the turtle hospital comes from generous people like 9-year-old Ethan Harrison.

Harrison has been a big supporter since he was four and has raised over $6,000 for the hospital by doing garage sales, bottle drives, and just saving money.

He was just one of the people out on Isle of Palms on Friday, rooting for McClellan. He says that he was very happy to see another turtle get out of the hospital.

"We are pretty confident she is going to be just fine out there," Thorvalson said.

The turtle hospital currently has five turtles being nursed back to health.