When turtles fly: Rehabbed sea turtles flown to Kennedy Space Center to launch new lives in the Atlantic

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.

READ: Worth shell-ebrating: Brevard Zoo releases largest-ever sea turtle patient

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 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.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.