COQUINA BEACH, N.C. (WAVY) — Ten rehabilitated sea turtles are back in the ocean after being released Friday by North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
A Kemp’s ridley, a loggerhead and eight green sea turtles were released with the help of aquarium staff and interns, volunteers from the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles and the U.S. Park Service.
This was the aquarium’s first beach release on the Outer Banks this year.
The turtles arrived at the aquarium’s Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center after stranding on beaches in Buxton, Frisco, Avon and Corolla between December 2016 and March 2017. All suffered symptoms of cold stunning, a hypothermic state that can impact sea turtles when water temperatures drop quickly. STAR Center technicians gradually re-warm the animals, treat them for any illness or injury, and monitor their eating, swimming and vital signs. An exam by the aquarium’s veterinary team determines when the turtles are ready to return to the ocean.
The turtles were released on Coquina Beach — across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
The aquarium showed the release live on Facebook Friday morning. See the full Facebook live below (App users click here).