In the past 10 years, sea turtle populations have been hit pretty hard by human activity in the oceans. While sea turtles are never the target of commercial fishing nets, they are often found tangled in them along with other fish. These beautiful creatures are also poached for their shells and are greatly affected by rising pollution levels in the sea. As the result, many sea turtle species are classified as threatened or endangered, meaning it is up to us to protect the sea turtles that remain if there is to be any hope for their recovery.
Recently, a team from the New England Aquarium in collaboration with the Massachusetts Audubon society at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, released three endangered sea turtles back into the ocean. These three little turtles had been stranded on the beach at high tide just as frigid winter temperatures were rolling in. Luckily, Mass Audubon volunteers who monitor beaches for such strandings located the turtles and were able to keep them safe until they could be released back into the wild.
Returning to the turtles to the beach on which they were found, volunteers coaxed the slow moving shells back towards the ocean. In an effort to track the progress of the turtles they were outfitted with satellite tags that will help scientists to learn more about their migration patterns.
After eight months of rehabilitation, these little guys were ready to get back to their ocean home. Seeing all their hard work pay off, volunteers were reminded of why the work they do is so very important.
We thank all who were involved in helping rescue and release these three endangered turtles and hope they have a smooth sailing back into the ocean.
You can help rescue stranded marine life to by checking out list of hotlines and keeping them bookmarked if you ever come across a creature in need.
All image source: New England Aquarium