Sea turtles returned to ocean

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Topsail Island hosted a cheering crowd and some happy turtles! Hundreds of folks gathered this afternoon to see 8 sea turtles make their journey back to the ocean.

“Absolutely ecstatic that we got a turtle going home,” Dan Vertefeuille said.

The Karen Beasley sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center gave these turtles freedom, but one of those turtles was extra special to one family, so this day, was an important one for them.

Vertefeuille explained, “The turtle Dane that we rescued a year ago was finally released. She has been tied up in fishing line and what was basically was wrapped around her entire right flipper and cut off the circulation to where she couldn’t use it.”

The turtle was in bad shape.

“She was about 80 lbs we took her out of the water and covered with barnacles. People thought it was an octopus because all you saw was the bumps on the back of it,” said Vertefeuille said.

Now today, Dane was able to return home heavier and healthier.

Vertefeuille said, “She’s 120 lbs and healthy and huge, she’d eaten her first live crab which is a sign that she would be able to get released.”

The best part for the family was knowing her journey to recovery was a success.

“That she was healthy enough to go home and her blood count was ready to be released, we were like “Yes!” she’s going home,” Vertefeuille said.

Jean Beasley, Executive Director of the turtle hospital, says sea turtles are greatly impacted by the conditions of our oceans which is why it is so important to think in conservation.

The turtle hospital has released a total of 60 turtles to the wild this year.

Categories: Pender

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