Rehabilitated Loggerhead Turtles Released at West Dennis Beach

Independence Day: 5 Loggerhead Sea Turtles Released At West Dennis Beach

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WEST DENNIS – Five large, loggerhead sea turtles stranded on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard last fall were released Monday morning from West Dennis Beach.

The turtles weighing between 50 and 120 pounds were rehabilitated at the New England Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital in Quincy after they were found cold-stunned in November.

“These were turtles that were lingering a little bit and had more serious pneumonia or injuries and it took a while for them to rehab,” said Bob Prescott, the director of Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sactuary.

“Now they are ready and the water temperature is right so it is time to let them go.”

The rehabilitation process can be a long one for the sea turtles as some have already been released off the coast of Florida or Georgia.

All of the turtles were equipped with satellite tags which will transmit locations of the marine animals when they come to the surface to breath. The locations will be transmitted for about 8 months to a year.

Prescott said it will be interesting to see where they go as they are being released earlier than normal off the coast of Massachusetts.

“They are going to do one of two things,” Prescott said. “They are going to stay here in Nantucket Sound for the summer and eat and continue to grow. Some of them will begin maybe even moving south, although it does seem a little early.”

Rehabilitated sea turtles are usually released off the Cape in August and head south right away.

Prescott said they can get south of Long Island, New York in just two or three days.

“They move right along and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

One of the turtles, a 120-pounder named Brick Red, arrived at the rehabilitation facility with no heart or respiration rate.

The other turtles were named Blue Bell, Laser Lemon, Banana Mania and Pink Sherbert. The theme for the turtle names this year was crayon colors.

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