Sea turtles returned to the ocean

Filed under: Pine Knoll Shores by pineknollshores on Sunday, April 28th, 2013

A Kemp’s ridley shortly after release offshore. Photo courtesy Danielle Waples.

Five sea turtles that had been under the Aquarium’s care for a few months were released into the Atlantic recently. Three of the marine reptiles had been at the Aquarium to recover from wintertime cold-stunning. The potentially fatal condition occurs when water temperatures suddenly drop and is similar to hypothermia.

The release included a loggerhead approximately 12-15 years old that had stranded near Cape Cod, a Kemps ridley, approximately seven years old, found near South River and a green sea turtle, estimated to be about three years old, that had stranded near Cape Lookout.

Two loggerheads that hatched in the fall of 2012 also were released. One came from a nest in Maryland and one from a nest on Onslow Beach. Both young turtles had recovered from metabolism and diving problems. The Aquarium works with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to provide care for many cold-stunned turtles and weak hatchlings every year. Thanks to the charter boat Sensation for transporting these five turtles offshore.