Turtle rescue center planning ocean release for dozens of rehabilitated turtles

Turtle rescue center planning ocean release for dozens of rehabilitated turtles
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (Source: Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center)

SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) - The team at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is preparing to release up to 35 of its rehabilitated patients back into the ocean by boat sometime over the next week and a half.

Turtle releases from the beach are always very popular, often attended by hundreds of people who enjoy the community celebration. However, with social distancing recommendations in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a public release is just not possible. The organization announced Saturday it will release the turtles from a boat sometime over the next ten days and will share pictures and video. They won’t announce when they’re getting on the boat publicly for safety reasons and ask that you not call the hospital to inquire.

The center currently has 74 turtles in some form of treatment on site currently. It’s been a busy time for the workers since last December, when they say they started admitting dozens of sick or injured turtles and some loggerheads. Many were considered in poor condition and some were labeled as critical. In early 2020, the center reports it had a record number of patients at 109 in house, which beat the previous record of 92 at one time.

The organization says once the state reports it is safe to reopen for the public, they will announce ways to visit.

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