New Orleans,
12:47 PM

Giant Loggerhead Sea Turtle Recovering at Audubon

A massive loggerhead sea turtle is getting some much-needed care at Audubon Nature Institute. The enormous male turtle was found in July floating upside down at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Grand Chenier. Fortunately, some members of the public spotted the endangered turtle and called Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network for help. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Audubon teamed up to secure and move the turtle. 

Now named Francois, the turtle was severely dehydrated and underweight when Audubon’s team brought him back to their rehab facility on the West Bank. Francois is getting antibiotics and other treatment as he recovers. When he was initially placed into water by the Audubon team, they realized he is “positively buoyant” which means he cannot successfully dive down into the water. Additional medical tests are needed to get more information about his health and determine the best course of treatment. 

Francois weighs about 200 pounds and is slowly gaining weight. His care team says he especially enjoys shrimp, squid, and smelt. Adult loggerhead sea turtles can weigh up to 350 pounds and live more than 70 years. Francois will remain at the Audubon Aquatic Center receiving treatment as long as needed for his recovery. 

Sea turtles like Francois will benefit from Audubon Aquarium’s annual Scales & Ales event, set for October 6. Partygoers will help support sea turtles and celebrate Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network’s sea turtle conservation efforts with their ticket purchases. 

Coordinated by Audubon Nature Institute, Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network is NOAA Fisheries’ primary stranding network response partner for marine mammals and sea turtles in Louisiana. Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network is committed to the humane care and treatment of injured, ill, or displaced marine animals in Louisiana and is the only entity in the state responsible for the rehabilitation of live marine mammals and sea turtles. The information collected from stranded animals provides a snapshot into the health of the marine environment and provides a better understanding of threats to marine mammals and sea turtles in the wild. 

If you see stranded or out-of-habitat marine mammals and sea turtles (live or dead) call Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network at 877-942-5343. 

To help endangered animals like Francois, please visit: