SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- A team of sea turtle workers released 12 endangered sea turtles back into the ocean after spending three months in the Ozarks.
The 12 endangered loggerhead sea turtles were stranded on the beaches of Cape Cod were sent to Wonders of Wildlife due to sea turtle rehabilitation centers along the East Coast already at capacity following a record year for strandings.
The team released the turtles in the Atlantic Ocean off Panama Beach, Florida. A press release says each of these sea turtles was tagged so they can be identified and further studied if they should be encountered in the future.
“This initiative is what the conservation mission of the Johnny Morris Foundation and Wonders of Wildlife is all about, giving back to ensure the outdoors and all it has to offer is available to future generations,” said Bob Ziehmer, Senior Director of Conservation at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.
The turtles were flown from Boston to Springfield in December. The turtles were experiencing dire conditions when they first washed ashore during extreme cold weather conditions and cold waters off the coast of Cape Cod in the northeastern United States. Once in Springfield, the turtles were transported to the not-for-profit Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Center, where many animal care experts, including veterinarians and marine biologists, began providing around-the-clock care.
The turtles are being kept in a 16,000-gallon backstage recovery pool where they will receive treatment until they are strong enough to be released in about 12 weeks.