National Aquarium Releases 15 Rescued Turtles Into Ocean |
BALTIMORE — After a successful rehabilitation at the National Aquarium, a group of 15 juvenile sea turtles have been returned to their natural habitat off the coast of Florida. The 13 Kemp’s turtles and two green turtles arrived at the National Aquarium in November after being stranded after being knocked out in the cold off the coast of Massachusetts.
The turtles were treated for conditions commonly associated with cold stunning, including pneumonia, dehydration, emaciation, shell and skin lesions, eye lesions, and bloodstream infections. Each turtle has been named after a musical instrument, the naming theme chosen for the 2021-2022 sea turtle rescue season. The band includes Piccolo, trumpet, viola, kazoo, harp, xylophone, violin, maraca, harmonica, clarinet, flute, castanets, bongo, banjo, and green sea turtle Cornet, who successfully recovered after overtaking debris from plastic.
“We are delighted that Cornet has made a successful recovery, but unfortunately the threat of plastic pollution is not over for him or any of these turtles as they migrate along the waters of the east coast,” said Jennifer Dittmar, director of the National Aquarium Animal Rescue. “Marine debris continues to be a growing concern for the safety of sea turtles as they migrate along east coast waters. Cornet’s case is a stark reminder of why the National Aquarium is working to advocate for the elimination of single-use plastics and the elimination of plastic pollution from waterways and wetlands.
As plastic pollution, climate change, and other impacts of human activities affect sea turtle population recovery, the organizations that make up the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network face increasing demands to respond to and rehabilitate sea turtles. stranded marines. Non-profit organizations like the National Aquarium voluntarily help fulfill the federal government‘s obligation to care for these endangered animals and rely on donations to rescue, rehabilitate and release the sea turtles. They continue to work with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) and partners across the country to advocate for direct federal funding mechanisms to support sea turtle stranding response and rehabilitation.
In addition to the 15 turtles that underwent rehabilitation at the National Aquarium, the National Aquarium also coordinated the release of 14 turtles rescued and rehabilitated by the New England Aquarium, the New York Marine Rescue Center and the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
The National Aquarium continues to care for 16 turtles. The annual freeze-stunned turtle rescue season begins in November, when water and air temperatures drop in the Greater Atlantic region, often resulting in freeze-stunned turtles and strandings. The Animal Rescue program is responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles along the nearly 3,190 miles of Maryland’s coastline and works with stranding partners through the region’s stranding network. the Atlantic to help respond, rescue and release animals year-round.
The National Aquarium is a non-profit organization whose goal is to change the way humanity cares for the ocean planet. What started over 35 years ago as a tourist attraction has grown into a conservation organization that operates a world-class aquarium.