BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Three dozen rehabbed sea turtles are earning their wings on Friday when they are flown from the Northeast to the Space Coast to launch new lives in the Atlantic.
Officials said “Turtle Fliers” from the organization Turtles Fly Too are coordinating the rescue flight.
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The turtles, mostly the endangered Kemp’s ridley species, were rescued from the cold waters of Cape Cod, Mass., and New York.
They said the turtles being released suffered from cold-stunning in the Northeast, just like the thousands of sea turtles that washed up on Texas beaches after the recent cold snap.
READ: Two dozen sea turtles rescued after washing up in Brevard County
After months of care at our #SeaTurtleHospital, some of our cold-stunned #SeaTurtles are being released back into the ocean today! 🐢— New England Aquarium (@NEAQ) February 26, 2021
In total, 10 of our turtles were picked up by @turtles_fly2 to land at @NASAKennedy, and are part of a batch of 37 turtles being released in FL! pic.twitter.com/8tIOyBQSU2
After they land at the former Shuttle Landing Facility, the turtles will launch from the Canaveral National Seashore into their new lives in the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Officials said Turtles Fly Too provides air transportation when endangered species need transport to distant facilities for treatment and rehabilitation. General aviation pilots donate their expertise, aircraft, fuel and labor to provide air transportation to shorten travel time and reduce stress on the endangered animals.
READ: It’s sea turtle nesting season: Here are 9 ways you can help hatchlings survive
Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for video and photos of the turtles’ release.
There's more than just rockets launching at Kennedy Space Center! 🌊🐢— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) February 26, 2021
Join us this afternoon on Instagram Live as we launch rehabilitated sea turtles from Cape Cod, Mass., and New York onto a protected beach here along the Florida coast: https://t.co/ferYegW6wp pic.twitter.com/7xdcVZ8u8b