Seven rehabilitated sea turtles released in Ocean Isle Beach

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Some sea turtles are getting a second chance at life after being rehabilitated and released into the ocean.

Around 100 people came out to watch the turtles return to their natural habitat. Many of them were cold stunned and one was bitten by a shark.

Seven turtles were released after being treated at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City for anywhere from six months to more than a year.

The center chose southern-facing Ocean Isle Beach for the release due to its warmer waters, partnering with local turtle watch groups to make it happen.

Karen Beasley executive director Kathy Zagzebski says most of the turtles were cold stunned either this past winter or the winter before.

“We also had a turtle that originally was cold stunned, Frank Rubio, and then we released him last summer but then he wound up stranding again, he had been bit by a shark,” Zagzebski said. “So we were able to rescue him, rehabilitate him again, so now he gets a third chance and we hope he gets it this time.”

Another turtle was treated after being hooked on the end of a fishing line. Organizers made sure all turtles made it out past the surf.

There are several more turtles being treated at the Karen Beasley Center, and staff says to stay tuned for information about future releases.

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