Fifty-two sea turtles released off Little Talbot Island
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fifty-two endangered sea turtles are now back at sea, released off the Coast of Little Talbot Island. The group are survivors of 242 sea turtles that washed ashore on Massachusetts beaches last November and December. The threatened and endangered turtles have since been rehabilitated in Massachusetts.
The caravan left Saturday from the New England Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Massachusetts with 37 turtles. It then stopped in Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia to pick up a total of nine more rescued turtles. The arrived Sunday morning in North Florida to be released back into the warm waters.
"They're ready to go back to the wild. We have to pick warmer water. And Florida right now is an optimal spot for turtle release," says New England Aquariums Connie Merigo.
Scientists are not sure why the number of sea turtles that came ashore in the winter of 2012 was almost double the number of turtles that is usually seen. They do say the most important factor is getting the turtles healthy and released into their natural habitat. "It's an exciting day for all the organizations. This is what we work for. These are endangered species. So every turtle that gets back out in the wild that has a potential to contribute to the population is really important," says Merigo.
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