Endangered Sea Turtles Released at Craigville Beach

2 Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles Released At Craigville Beach

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CENTERVILLE – Officials with the National Marine Life Center in Bourne released two rehabilitated sea turtles back to the wild Tuesday in Centerville.

“Kemp’s Ridley’s are a species of turtle that is the most endangered in the world. They are native to the Atlantic Ocean and every summer these turtles come as juveniles into Cape Cod Bay,” said Kathy Zagzebski, President and Executive Director of the National Marine Life Center.

‘Gunst’ and ‘Bruiser’ were released at Creigville Beach after being rescued by the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, and were triaged at the New England Aquarium.

Due to the size of the turtles, physical injury as a result of the extreme water temperature change took place faster than would typically be seen in other types of reptiles.

“The animals as they get trapped, get colder and enter a state of severe hypothermia that’s called ‘cold-stunning’. At this point the cold stun conditions around the Bay are very, very, serious,” added Zagzebski.

“It’s actually a critical medical condition for the animals. They are not only severely hypothermic, they often get pneumonia, they get broken bones, and then sometimes they get complications from recovering from the hypothermia,” she said.

“Each turtle required long hours of care. Gunst had physical therapy to regain use of his front flippers after a severe bone infection,” said Lisa Becker, NMLC’s Animal Care Manager

“We are grateful to our wonderful volunteers who dedicated their time caring for these endangered animals,” she said.

For more information on the National Marine Life Center’s mission and how you can donate to their cause, you can call 508-743-9888, or visit nmlc.org

By JOHN BONDAREK, CapeCod.Com News Center

PHOTOS By SPENCER KENNARD, CapeCod.Com

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