|Most of the turtles transported to other facilities were small Kemp's ridleys, anywhere from 3 to 10 pounds.|
Yesterday was an epic day for sea turtle transports—fitting for an epic stranding season. Before dawn, 193 critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles loaded into padded boxes and transported by a Coast Guard plane to Orlando, where they were distributed to seven marine animal rehab facilities in north and central Florida. At mid-morning, a private jet flew 50 Kemp’s and green sea turtles to North Carolina for distribution to the aquariums there.
Here's just a sampling of what this busy day looked like.
|This is what it looked like before the transport: Boxes along a wall staged and waiting for the early morning transport team to begin removing turtles from the tanks for the big US Coast Guard transport.|
|Volunteers began removing turtles to prepare them for the USCG transport at 4:00 am!|
|Boxes with turtles carefully tucked in for the transport are lined up with their paperwork, |
ready to be loaded into a waiting transport trailer.
|IFAW came and picked us up in their heated animal transport trailer and sent people to help us load the plane.|
|Loading the IFAW trailer was a team effort, many volunteers pitched in to carry turtles.|
|Unloading the trailer and loading the planes | Photo: S. Heaslip for Cape Cod Times via Twitter|
|A turtle gets ready to head south | Photo: S. Heaslip for Cape Cod Times via Twitter|
|The turtles arrived at rescue facilities in Florida to begin the long phase of rehabilitation before|
release into the wild | Photo: Bob Shackelford with WSTP via Twitter
You can help, too. If you see a stranded turtle, please cover it with a layer of seaweed, mark it and call Mass Audubon at Wellfleet Bay at 508-349-2615. These are endangered turtles so every one you save counts a lot! Another way to help is by supporting the Aquarium and our rescue efforts. Thank you.