SeaWorld Releases 75 Sea Turtles in Jupiter

Turtle hatchlings, including rare leatherback, returned to ocean

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Sep 12, 2013  |  Updated 8:16 AM EDT
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Taco the Turtle Released

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team returned 75 sea turtles to a weed line off the coast of Jupiter.

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Sea Turtles Released in South Florida

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard assist in the release of more than 500 sea turtles in the waters of South Florida.
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A group of 75 sea turtles found a new home in the waters off Jupiter Wednesday thanks to SeaWorld's Animal Rescue Team.

The turtles, including 61 loggerheads, 10 green, three hawksbills and one leatherback, were released in a weed line about 14 miles from shore. The weed line contains sargassum sea weed grass and acts as protection and a source of food for the turtles during the first two years of their life.

Three of the turtles had been receiving care at SeaWorld Orlando for the past several months after they were found on beaches after being washed ashore due to harsh sea conditions.

Another 19 of the hatchlings had been receiving care at the Volusia County Marine Science Center. Ten green and 43 loggerhead hatchlings had been receiving care at the Loggerhead Marine Life Center.

The rare leatherback hatchling was found near New Smyrna Beach with a severe curvature and inability to reach the sea on its own.

Each turtle's health was evaluated and all were medically cleared before they were returned to the ocean.

Last week, the Coast Guard and workers at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center released more than 500 sea turtles into waters off Boca Raton.

Anyone who spots an injured marine animal can help by calling the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's hotline at 1-888-404-3922.

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