Eight Rehabilitated Sea Turtles Released at Craigville Beach

CENTERVILLE –Eight rehabilitated Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles were released back into the waters of Craigville Beach in Centerville on Wednesday night.

The turtles were rescued by the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary between late November and mid-December 2016.

They were rehabilitated at the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay for eight months.

There are two turtles left at the Center.

Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to watch the turtles make their way back into the water.

The crowd of all ages impressed National Marine Life Center Executive Director Kathy Zagzebski.

“I think it shows you that Cape Codders, residents and visitors alike, we love our wildlife, we feel protective of these animals, these animals stranded on Cape Cod last November, and we’re excited to see them go back into the wild,” said Zagzebski.

The turtles are named “Kingsbury”, “Peso”, “Zuma”, “Ziggy”, “Ewok”, “Owen”, “Riptide”, and “Stifler”.

Zagzebski admitted that it was emotional watching the turtles return back to the wild.

“There’s a little bit of the bittersweet because we have spent so much time with them, at the same time we’re excited to see how happy they are to be going back to the wild and we’re glad we can now open up space for other animals to come in,” said Zagzebski.

The NMLC was able to release the turtles because the water was warm enough for them.

The Center has already released three bunches of turtles in Florida.

Some worry that there is a chance that the released turtles could end up coming back in the winter cold-stunned again, but the organization said that there has only been one instance where that has happened.

Kemp’s Ridleys are the smallest marine turtle and the most endangered sea turtle species.

The turtles rescued were initially treated for severe hypothermia as well as pneumonia and parasitic infections.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter



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