TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Aquarium and its Center for Conservation team released eight rehabilitated Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in New Smyrna on Thursday.
The Aquarium released the turtles at the Canaveral National Seashore on World Oceans Day.
The critically endangered sea turtles were rescued and flown from New England in December after being cold-stunned from a harsh cold-snap that hit the northeast.
The eight turtles were part of a group of 12 that the aquarium received. The remaining four are continuing to undergo rehabilitation at the facility. The aquarium’s veterinary team expects a full recovery and is optimistic those turtles will be ready for release soon.
The turtles underwent treatment for skin and shell wounds, similar to frostbite in humans, when they got to Tampa. Several were treated with antibiotics to treat pneumonia.
After five months of care, the eight sea turtles were eating well, swimming normally and gaining weight, signally to aquarium staff that the rehabilitation efforts had been successful and they were ready to return to the Atlantic Ocean.
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