Allison, beloved one-flippered sea turtle living on South Padre Island, dies

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Visitors at Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island watch Allison, the one-flippered Atlantic sea turtle, swim in this undated photo. (Courtesy of Sea Turtle Inc.)

One of Sea Turtle Inc.’s longest living residents died Monday, the nonprofit said on Facebook in a statement memorializing the beloved turtle

Medical staff pulled Allison, a one-flippered Atlantic green sea turtle who’s called the nonprofit home for 18 years, from her tank early Saturday morning after they noticed she was exhibiting signs of buoyancy and other issues.

The staff found Allison unresponsive after arriving Monday to draw blood and other samples.

After washing up on the shore of South Padre Island on June 16, 2005, Allison was found with only one of its four flippers remaining after being attacked by a predator.

Through groundbreaking care and treatment, Allison became one of the first sea turtles to have a prosthetic that allowed her to swim after losing three flippers.

“We are deeply saddened by Allison’s passing,” Wendy Knight, chief executive officer of Sea Turtle Inc., said in the statement. “Allison was the epitome of perseverance, grit and strength to overcome. She made a meaningful impact on our staff, volunteers and millions of guests in the last 18 years and she will be greatly missed.”

Sea Turtle Inc. has created a virtual memorial page on Facebook where those who knew and loved Allison can share their condolences and thoughts.

One Facebook user, Betsy Hosick, remembered Allison as a “special” turtle who inspired.

“An inspiration that stood for living inspire of any handicap,” Hosick said via Facebook. “When I first met her with my granddaughter, she was so impressed she drew a picture of her and we still cherish that picture today. My heart is heavy, but I know (Allison) had her very best life with the wonderful staff and volunteers at Sea Turtle Inc.”

Sabrina Barrera took to Facebook to recall the time she and her son met Allison.

Visitors of Sea Turtle Inc. on South Padre Island snap photos of Allison, the one-flippered Atlantic sea turtle, in this undated photo. (Courtesy of Sea Turtle Inc.)

“My son is fascinated with marine life. His goal is to work as a marine biologist and vet. Allison had a beautiful life and we are so blessed to (have) visited her at Sea Turtle Inc.,” Barrera wrote.

And Cathie King Whitlock remembered being in McAllen in September 2014, when she worked as a travel nurse, and meeting Allison while in the Rio Grande Valley.

“I saw Allison swimming in a tank with a watchful volunteer. The volunteer shared with me Allison’s story and I learned how she came to have a rudder,” Whitlock wrote. “What an amazing story of strength and survival. I’ve thought of Allison throughout the years and I am so happy that she helped to build the new sanctuary and (its) organization. Swim deep Allison.”