Girl saves orange seahorse she thought was a “cheeto,” then it turns yellow when it’s healthy

A little girl was walking on a beach in Florida and saw something that caught her attention. She saw what looked to her like a “Hot Cheeto” – you know, those cheesy and spicy chips. So, being a good citizen, she picked it up, with the intention of throwing it into the garbage.
However, upon closer look at the “Hot Cheeto,” she realized that it wasn’t a “Hot Cheeto” at all, it was a seahorse!

The seahorse had actually been dropped by a seagull into the sand, and it was by pure luck that the little girl found her at the right time. Had she come any later, the seahorse would have passed away.

Source: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

She saw that this seahorse needed help, so she put the seahorse in her bucket that she had filled with water and showed it to her mom.

Source: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Her mom knew the right thing to do would be to call experts on marine life, so she called the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The put the seahorse into an aquarium, where they could evaluate it properly.

Source: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

They determined that the seahorse was a female lined seahorse, the kind of seahorse that changes colors to match its surroundings.
The aquarium staff reasoned that the seahorse must have been orange from living in red and orange sponges prior to being found. They nursed the seahorse back to health, and a week later, she started eating again. She even changed her color to yellow.

Source: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The aquarium staff continued to take care of the seahorse until she was ready to be released into the wild. When the rescuers tried to release her, she didn’t look like she was ready to leave. But eventually, she swam back into the ocean, healthy and strong!
We are so happy that this little girl was in the right place at the right time, and that she did the right thing by saving this seahorse. Kudos to her and her mom for contacting the aquarium staff! See a full account of the seahorse’s recover below:
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Source: The Dodo


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