Mystic Aquarium Releases Rehabbed Endangered Sea Turtles Back Into Ocean
It happens nearly every winter in the waters off Cape Cod. Sea turtles who stick around too long end up swimming in the freezing waters of Cape Cod Bay and becoming cold-stunned. These poor animals are often found by locals walking the area beaches and, if they are lucky, get help in enough time to be rehabilitated.
That is exactly what happened to eight endangered sea turtles this past December, but lucky for most of them, The Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Team was called to help.
The cold-stunned sea turtles rescued this past December were found at various times across several Cape Cod beaches. Though they all had one thing in common, they were all hypothermic and suffering from malnutrition.
Sadly two of the turtles were worse off than the rest and despite the aquarium's best efforts, did not survive their cold-stunning damage. The others underwent months of rehabilitation, including gradual warming, constant veterinarian care and, for one of the turtles, surgery to remove dead tissue from a frostbitten flipper.
Cold-stunning is no joke for sea turtles, but this story does have a happy ending for the five endangered species that were finally released back to the warm ocean waters today.
Though Massachusetts has yet to really thaw from the winter months, the five turtles released this week were transported to the sunny shores of North Carolina and its much warmer waters.
The Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue team was all smiles as they brought their healthy sea turtles, one loggerhead sea turtle and four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles back to the ocean along with 21 sea turtles from other animal rescues along the East Coast.
All 26 turtles made their way down the sand at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina and back to the ocean as onlookers watched them swim home.
Keep scrolling to see the amazing photos of their return to the Atlantic Ocean.