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KURE BEACH, NC (WECT) – Two of eight endangered loggerhead sea turtles that traveled more than 800 miles to receive medical care at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher have recuperated and been released into the ocean, according to an aquarium spokesperson.
According to the aquarium, the eight animals were injured in a mass cold-stunning event along the New England coast in December. More than 150 turtles were rescued after becoming ill from the prolonged exposure to cold water temperatures.
The turtles received help at Fort Fisher, getting daily medical care including antibiotics, special diets and close monitoring.
Originally, it was estimated that it would take about a month for all of the turtles to recuperate. However, the two turtles mentioned above were eating well, gained weight and finished their medical treatment.
They then underwent final assessments at the aquarium on Thursday and were taken to the U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Macon, in Atlantic Beach, overnight.
Friday morning, the turtles were taken to the warm Atlantic waters via the USCG Cutter Seahorse, under the guidance and care of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission workers.
“Returning healthy sea turtles to their natural habitat to live and grow was our goal,” said Aquarium Curator Hap Fatzinger, in a statement. “These turtles improved quickly and can get back to the wild. This is the best case scenario for them.”
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