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Sea turtle hatchlings released into sea

By WSVN-TV 7News, July 28, 2015 –MIAMI (WSVN) — Sea creatures born on Florida’s beaches were released into the ocean Monday.

Over 570 baby sea turtles were released in the Atlantic Ocean in a joint effort between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Gumbo-Limbo Nature Center. The sea turtles hatchlings come from turtle nests located along beaches throughout Florida, which are primary nesting grounds for Loggerhead sea turtles.

Once turtles hatch, they are likely to never see their mother again. “They’re very instinctual creatures,” said Ali Druskat, a marine scientist with Gumbo-Limbo Nature Center. “They don’t really need anything. The moms would never know the difference between these guys and anything else.”

The marine scientists and the Coast Guard took the turtles miles off shore. “We take them to what we call the Sargasso Sea, so it’s a big seaweed patch.”

The baby turtles will live in the patch for years where they will feast and grow. “There’s lots of other animals that live in that Sargassum,” said Gumbo-Limbo’s Kristin Child. “It’s like a community with little crabs and fishes and planktonic creatures and juvenile species, and that’s where the turtles get their food from.”

Some turtles make their way back to shore sooner than expected when injured, like 1-year-old Mocha. Injured turtles will be nursed back to health in the Critical Care Center. Hope, another turtle, was also injured when she arrived in April without a flipper and a bite wound to her side. “She was attacked by a predator, and she had a belly full of plastic,” said marine expert Whitney Crowder. “She’s definitely recovered quite nicely and has gained lots of weight.”

Hope can now manage to swim with one flipper, which means it is time to release her back into the ocean. “It’s bittersweet, but she needs to be back out in the wild,” said Crowder. “We give them a better chance of survival by bringing them out to the weed line, but we cross our fingers and hope for the best.”


WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Originally broadcast by WSVN-7News on July 27, 2015 

Story and video courtesy of WSVN