Sea Turtles Being Released Into Wild

Sea Turtle Recovery staff examine a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, Glacier, prior to release. (Photo courtesy Sea Turtle Recovery)

POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Four sea turtles will be released back into the wild 7 a.m. Sept. 5 at Water Street.

The turtles were rehabilitated at Sea Turtle Recovery, a nonprofit hospital located inside the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. Twenty-three turtles have been rehabbed and released since the hospital opened in December 2016.

Tammie, an adult Loggerhead, and three juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, will be released Sept. 5.

Tammie was found off the coast of Cape May by the crew of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson. The turtle appeared to have injuries received from propeller strikes across her carapace, top shell. But she is now ready to return to the ocean.

“Watching Tammie return to the ocean will be highly rewarding. After over a year in rehabilitation, this turtle and all of the turtles getting released take a piece of my heart with them on their journey,” co-executive officer of STR Brandi Biehl said.

Also scheduled for release is Glacier, recovered from a broken flipper; Shellbie, healed of fungal pneumonia; and Junior, who had a respiratory infection. Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are endangered, “which makes their return home vital in the effort to save their species,” STR officials said.

USCG crew assist a Loggerhead sea turtle, Tammie, while Sea Turtle Recovery staff are brought on board the ship. (Photo courtesy Sea Turtle Recovery)

“To see the fight to survive in these sea turtle’s eyes, it makes you realize how fragile our oceans are and how it is our responsibility to keep it safe for the animals that call it home.” Biehl said.

The turtles will be released some time between 7 and 7:30 a.m. The public is invited.

A breakfast will be held afterward at White Sands Resort The cost is $15 per person.

The release can also be watched at facebook.com/SeaTurtleRecovery.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at jpeacock@jerseyshoreonline.com.