The National Aquarium will be releasing two rehabilitated sea turtles next Thursday morning, coinciding with World Sea Turtle Day.
The two juvenile turtles, Hardhead and Beachcomber, were found along the East Coast and brought to the aquarium for rehabilitation. They’ll be released at Assateague Island National Seashore.
“We essentially give animals in the wild a second chance,” Amber White, stranding coordinator at the National Aquarium said. “We are giving them an opportunity at a second chance at life, and a lot of the animals that we see are very endangered or threatened species.”
Hardhead came from the coast of Delaware, and arrived in Baltimore with a low body temperature, broken ribs and a tear in his lungs that left him unable to swim.
Beachcomber had a rare blood infection and kidney issues after stranding along the coast of Cape Cod.
Both turtles have been cared to and monitored by National Aquarium Animal Science and Welfare staff, and are both healthy enough to return to their natural habitat.
“They have gotten a clean bill of health from our vets and they’re good to go,” White said.
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This release also coincides with the 25th year of animal rescues at the aquarium. To date, the aquarium has rehabilitated and released 177 animals back to their natural environment.
So far in 2016, the aquarium has released 13 animals, 12 of which were cold-stuns from 2015.
The release Thursday will also include 10 rehabilitated turtles from the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and National Marine Life Center rescue programs.
The public is invited to attend the release. Details will be shared online at the aquarium’s website, aqua.org.