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Ride to Release: Photo Journal

On the morning of Sunday April 13th 2014, seven endangered Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtles were readied for a 24-hour trek to Jacksonville, Florida where they would be released. Cherry (#32), Raphael (#34), Julia (#35), Thetis (#36), Marina (#37), Shosho (#38), and Squirt (#39) were admitted to the National Marine Life Center in November due to cold stunning. Follow their journey to Florida through the photos below!

April 13, 2014 8AM: Final weights and measurements are taken for each of the 7 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that are being released.  Rear flipper and PIT tags are also rechecked.

April 13, 2014 8AM: Final weights and measurements are taken for each of the 7 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that are being released. Rear flipper and PIT tags are also rechecked.

April 13, 9AM: The Kemp’s ridleys are placed in crates lined with two towels and a roll for comfort. They are then covered in a water based lubricant to keep their skin from drying out and cracking.

April 13, 9AM: The Kemp’s ridleys are placed in crates lined with two towels and a roll for comfort. They are then covered in a water based lubricant to keep their skin from drying out and cracking.

April 13, 10AM: The 7 Kemp’s ridleys and transport team are packed and ready to go!

April 13, 10AM: The 7 Kemp’s ridleys and transport team are packed and ready to head to Florida!

April 13, 1PM: We did our best to check on the Kemp’s every few hours, here’s Raphael (34) snoozing in his crate at a rest stop in New Jersey.

April 13, 1PM: We did our best to check on the Kemp’s every few hours, here’s Raphael (34) snoozing in his crate at a rest stop in New Jersey.

April 13 3PM: We hit traffic in New Jersey and it continued until Washington DC.

April 13, 3PM: We hit traffic in New Jersey and it continued until Washington DC.

April 13, 6 PM: Thetis (36) wonders, are we there yet? Along with her, Squirt (39) was also really rambunctious during the ride.

April 13, 6 PM: Thetis (36) wonders, are we there yet? Along with her, Squirt (39) was also really rambunctious during the ride.

April 13, 9PM: We made a pit stop in VA to reapply ointment and do a towel change for all the turtles.

April 13, 9PM: We made a pit stop in Virginia to reapply ointment and do a towel change for all the turtles.

April 14, 2014 5AM: The seven Kemp's ridleys and the transport team safely made it to Florida!

April 14, 2014 5AM: The seven Kemp’s ridleys and the transport team safely made it to Florida!

April 14, 7AM: After 21 hours of travel, the transport team and turtles safely arrived at the release site, Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida!

April 14, 7AM: After 21 hours of travel, the transport team and turtles safely arrived at the release site, Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida!

April 14, 730 AM: Some of our Kemp's ridleys were lucky enough to get a ride down to the beach in a Bobcat!

April 14, 730 AM: Some of our Kemp’s ridleys were lucky enough to get a ride down to the beach in a Bobcat!

April 14, 745 AM: All seven Kemp's ridleys are lined up and ready to go!

April 14, 745 AM: All seven Kemp’s ridleys are lined up and ready to go!

April 14, 8 AM: And they're off! Squirt (39) is the first one released!

April 14, 8 AM: And they’re off! Squirt (39) is the first one released!

April 14, 8 AM: Up next are Marina (37) and Raphael (34).

April 14, 8 AM: Up next are Marina (37) and Raphael (34).

April 14, 8AM: Swim Shosho (38)!

April 14, 8AM: Swim Shosho (38)!

April 14, 8 AM: There goes Pearl (32)!

April 14, 8 AM: There goes Pearl (32)!

April 14, 8 AM: Thetis (36) and Julia (35) are last but definitely not least!

April 14, 8 AM: Thetis (36) and Julia (35) are last but definitely not least!

 

April 14, 830 AM: After a solid 24-hour journey, all seven Kemp's ridley sea turtles were successfully released at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Thanks to everyone who made their rehabilitation and release possible!

April 14, 830 AM: After a solid 24-hour journey, all seven Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were successfully released at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Thanks to everyone who made their rehabilitation and release possible!

2 Comments

  1. This is a very nice photo album of these special sea turtles, and their care team’s, journey. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Great set of pictures that document their journey.

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