ORLANDO, Fla - Several sea turtles, rescued and cared for by the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team, were released back into the wild on Wednesday.
A SeaWorld Orlando spokesperson said nine of 24 Kemp's ridley sea turtles, originally rescued in Massachusetts and flown to Florida in January for life-saving rehabilitation, were part of this week's release at Little Talbot Island State Park near Jacksonville. The remaining turtles are still be cared for as they continue to gain strength.
Kemp's ridley sea turtles are extremely rare and have been listed as an endangered species since 1970. A large decline in population of these turtles has been linked to egg harvesting in the 1960s and human interference through pollution and shrimp netting, SeaWorld says. The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is also the smallest marine turtle. An adult usually weighs approximately 100 pounds and measures 26-30 inches long.
To learn more about SeaWorld's animal rescue efforts, visit SeaWorldCares.com.
Information provided by SeaWorld Orlando.