Rescued Turtles Flown To Secondary Locations To Continue Rehab

Sea Turtle Rescue. Photo Credit goes to New England Aquarium.

HYANNIS – As sea turtle stranding season continues, volunteer pilots with non-profit Turtles Fly Too have flown 79 turtles triaged at the New England Aquarium to secondary treatment facilities in New York, New Jersey and Florida as more arrive.

Following a slow start to the season due to mild temperatures, over 500 turtles have washed on shore in Cape Cod in recent weeks.

Teams of staff and volunteers from Mass Audubon Wildlife Society are scouring beaches to rescue the turtles and bring them to the Sea Turtle Hospital in Quincy to be treated for conditions such as pneumonia and hypothermia.

“We’ve become accustomed to getting hundreds of turtles each fall. But this year, they’ve been coming in over a shorter span of time, and we’ve been getting as steady flow of turtles almost regardless of tide and winds,” said Mass Audubon Sea Turtle Program Manager Bob Prescott.

As the turtles rehabilitate, the aquarium is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service and volunteer pilots to transport the turtles to secondary locations such as the Mote Marine Laboratory and Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, freeing up space for new turtles to receive treatment.

“Turtles Fly Too understands the urgency to help endangered species be moved quickly to long term rehabilitation so they can be successfully re-released into the wild. We are thankful to our “turtle fliers” who volunteer their time, talents and aircraft to fly each mission and are proud to help with the coordination,” said Turtles Fly Too President Leslie Weinstein.

The rescued turtles are comprised mostly of critically endangered Kemp’s ridley Turtles, as well as loggerheads and green turtles.

To learn more about sea turtle rescue efforts, click here.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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