The New England Aquarium released two sea turtles back into the sea Thursday after eight months of rehabilitation.
Rotelle and Sorpresine are the aquarium’s final two releases from the 2022 cold stunning season, the aquarium said a Facebook post Friday. They were in need of long-term rehabilitation and were among the 518 sea turtles the aquarium saved last year.
Aquarium staff announced that Rotelle was stranded on December 19, 2022. The turtle was one of the most critical cases staff have dealt with over the past season.
“After treatment for his injuries from aquarium staff, Rotelle was swimming through his enclosure using all four fins in no time!” the aquarium wrote.
Aquarium staff reported that the day after Rotelle was found, aquarium staff found a severely emaciated sorpresine. The turtle was suffering from acute pneumonia and needed antibiotics and antifungals.
After treatment in the aquarium Sea Turtle Hospital At her Quincy Animal Care Center, Sorpresine gained three pounds, according to the Aquarium.
“These two sea turtles clearly demonstrate that given the chance, despite their serious life-threatening illnesses and the many challenges that come with them, they can make a full recovery,” the aquarium wrote.
Both Rotelle and Sorpresine were Kemp’s Ridley Turtlessaid the aquarium. At 60 cm long, they are the smallest sea turtle species in the world. according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
Kemp’s ridleys are at risk from factors including gear tangling, overfishing, and habitat destruction, according to NOAA. That means they are at very high risk of extinction in the wild.
Why sea turtles need to be saved
According to the aquariumSea turtles are cold-blooded, which means they rely on the environment to maintain their body temperature. So when the weather turns cold, hypothermia and “cold shock” can easily occur.
Each fall, several turtles in Cape Cod Bay experience cold shock, the aquarium said. They wash up on beaches and aquarium staff come to rescue those who can be rehabilitated.
According to the aquarium, treating the turtles can take anywhere from a few months to two years before they are healthy enough to return to the wild. After 25 years of this work, up to 85% of the rescued turtles are returned to the sea.
Last year, 442 of the 518 turtles the aquarium saved were Kemp’s ridley turtles, the aquarium said. The others were green sea turtles, like the famous myrtle in the aquarium, or loggerhead sea turtles, which are also endangered.
unfortunately, said the aquarium on FridayStatistical modeling suggests that thousands of cold-shocked sea turtles may wash up on the Cape’s shores by 2031.
“That’s why supporting sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation is so important when it comes to preserving the lives of these amazing animals!” it wrote.
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