Turtle Release!

This week we released 10 of our Kemp's ridley sea turtles at Dowses Beach in Osterville. These turtles were released into Nantucket Sound after eight months of rehabilitation. Several of our volunteers came down with the Rescue staff early Wednesday morning to see our patients return to the wild.

Rescue interns and staff arrived at the Aquarium at 6 a.m. to box up the turtles. Here they are lined up in front of the Sea Turtle Recovery Room.

We arrived at the beach and lined up the turtles. Adam gave our volunteers the signal, and the turtles were placed on the beach to make their way to the water.

Some turtles were faster than others. Take a look at #82 out in front. He didn't hesitate at all and was the first to enter the water!

#70, in the photo above, was a turtle with pneumonia and went through intensive care to treat his infection. He was nebulized with #57 back in January. Obviously he recovered well. Look at him go!

#34 got slightly off course at one point and started heading toward me! He must have recognized me as the person who last took his blood, because he quickly got back on track. Notice him taking another glance to make sure I wasn't following?

#34 then quickly joined the other turtles and made his way into the water.

#98 was the slowest turtle and the last to enter the water. I think he enjoyed the extra attention.

It was an exciting day for everyone. We were even able to see the turtles surface for breaths out in the sound.

Adam talked to the media afterwards. You can find video of the release on NECN and Boston.com.

You may be wondering why we are releasing these sea turtles when there are Kemp's ridleys being affected by the oil spill down in the Gulf of Mexico. Based on satellite tracking data from past ridleys we have released, these turtles will travel down the East Coast and stay around the Carolinas and Georgia. We are confident that they will not enter the Gulf at this point in their lives and that these individuals should not be affected by the spill.

One of our past interns, Krystan Wilkinson, is currently a GIS student. She made this map using data from one of our past ridley patients. Take a look and you can see the typical path of the Kemp's ridley sea turtles after we release them.

We still have eight sea turtles in our Sea Turtle Recovery Room. Most of them will be ready for release in another month or so. We will keep you updated! Thank you to everyone for supporting the turtles and to all our volunteers for your hard work in caring for our patients.


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