A green sea turtle named after Hurricane Ian was among 15 injured sea turtles released into the Gulf Stream waters off Key West by staff at a turtle hospital and members of a powerboat racing team. motorboats that competed for the world championship of this sport.
“Ian” was found buried in kelp by a family cleaning a boat ramp after the storm’s tropical storm force winds struck Key West on September 29. The little turtle was taken to Turtle Hospital in Marathon, where it was treated with fluids and diet and nursed back to health.
WINGS OF RESCUE FLY 28 DOGS OUT OF FLORIDA AS SHELTERS SURGE AFTER HURRICANE IAN
Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach said “Ian” and 14 other young sea turtles were released Saturday into a line of sargassum weed about 20 miles off Key West in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Sargassum acts as camouflage for young turtles, making it an ideal habitat for their life stage.
The turtles were transported to the release point by the TS Motorsports MTI powerboat, a 39-foot vessel participating in the Race World Offshore Key West World Championship.
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The Turtle Hospital, the world’s first veterinary facility of its kind, has been rescuing, rehabilitating and returning turtles to the wild for more than 30 years.