Turtle Release in Maryland!

Removing from the rehabilitation tank.
Volunteer Katie and Interns Chloe, Will, and Dimitria remove the turtles from the rehabilitation tank for the last time.

Our last four sea turtles are on their way home!

Topsy, Gerald, Betsy, and Ernest are on their way to warmer Maryland waters where they will be released back into the ocean.  This week, Dr. Williams conducted one last health check and approved the turtles for release. Animal Care Coordinator Kate Shaffer applied flipper tags and microchips to each turtle. Volunteers fed them one last big meal this

Topsy is ready to go!
Topsy, sea turtle #20, is lubed up and ready for transport! We put a water soluble gel on their shells and skin to keep them moist, and an eye ointment in their eyes to keep irritants out.

morning, and loaded them up for transport this afternoon.

It is still too cold in Massachusetts for release, and we want the animals to be able to get back to the wild as soon as possible. That’s why we decided to release them further south. We also want to make room in our hospital for more animals in need!

Our turtles will be released along with three from the National Aquarium. And,

Gerald is looking forward to going home!
Gerald – sea turtle #21 – is ready to go home! We refresh the number on his back so we can tell him apart during transport and on the beach. It will wear off in a couple days. The turtles have flipper tags and microchips so they may be identified if seen again.

congratulations are in order to our friends at the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program, because they will be releasing their 100th animal!

The public is invited to observe this release! Here are the details.

Sea Turtle Release (public welcome!)
Date:  Saturday, June 22, 2013
Time:  4:00 pm EST
Place:  Point Lookout State Park, Swimming Beach, 11175 Point Lookout Road,

Goodbye, Betsy!
Betsy – sea turtle #22 – was named after National Marine Life Center founder Elizabeth “Betsy” Hornor. It was always Mrs. Hornor’s dream to be able to help stranded sea animals on Cape Cod, and to send them home.

Scotland, MD

If you can’t be there, please check out NMLC’s Facebook page later this weekend for photos and updates!


Soon, Ernest, soon!
Ernest – sea turtle #26 – seems impatient as he is prepared for transport. Although he was the smallest of the turtles initially, he has gained a great deal of weight during rehab and is ready to return to the wild!


Ready to ride!
Animal care coordinator Kate Shaffer has the turtles all packed up and ready to ride! She will drive them to Maryland where they will be released in the warm waters of the Chesapeake Bay.