16 Sea Turtles Headed to Release

Kemp's ridley sea turtle

turtlethe National Marine Life Center will release 16 rehabilitated Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, the most endangered sea turtle species in the world, in Florida on Monday.

These juvenile turtles were rescued by Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in November and December, and received emergency care at the New England Aquarium before they were transferred to NMLC for ongoing rehabilitation. While at our animal hospital, the turtles received antibiotics to turtle 2address pneumonia and other infections, fluids for rehydration, and regular veterinary check ups. Their diet included carefully prepared herring fillets and steaks as well as squid rings into which vitamins were hidden. We are grateful to the dedicated volunteers who donated hundreds of hours to help these precious animals.

ryan lubeNow, months later, the turtles are active and alert. They swim well and eat voraciously. NMLC Veterinarian, Dr. “Sea” Rogers Williams, has deemed the animals medically and behaviorally suitable for transportation and wild release. And they sure are ready to go!

measurementsThis morning, a team of NMLC staff and volunteers prepared the turtles for transport and gently nestled them into warmed banana boxes filled with towels and heat packs. They were driven to the Marshfield Airport for the first leg of their journey.

pilot Local pilot Garrett Kletjian, who is generously donating his time, plane, and fuel to help, flew them to Pittsburgh, PA. Upon landing, they were greeted by our colleagues from the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, who will house the animals overnight before driving them south – along with seven turtles rehabbed at their facility.

captianSometime Monday morning, the turtles will be released into the warm waters off the east coast of Florida. You may have followed these turtles’ stories on our Facebook Page or our Website Adoption Page. Turtles being released include: Finn (#52), Orion (#53), Moonpie (#54), Piper (#55), Donatello (#61), Jackson (#62), Wagner (#63), Pirate (#65), Daniel (68), Lumina (69), Dashy (70), Captain (71), Scorpio (72), Buster (73), and Bruckner (#77). We are grateful to you for caring about and helping these wonderful animals.