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Sea turtles to be released at Va. Beach Oceanfront

Sea turtles to be released at Va. Beach Oceanfront

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) — Six sea turtles will be released back into the wild Wednesday after being rehabilitated by the Virginia Aquarium.

The Stranding Response Team is releasing the turtles along the shore behind Neptune’s Park at 31st Street Wednesday, June 24 at 10 a.m. and the public is invited to attend.

The Kemp’s ridley turtles were hooked by recreational fishermen this month.

This year’s naming theme for rehab patients at the Virginia Aquarium is « Disney characters: »

  • Elsa was hooked at Little Island Fishing Pier in Sandbridge May 21. The hook was caught in her upper esophagus and was successfully removed under sedation at Beach Pet Hospital. After treatment with antibiotics and nutritional support, Elsa is ready to be released back to the ocean.
  • Minnie Mouse was hooked June 8 at Little Island Fishing Pier in Sandbridge. Minnie was taken to Beach Pet Hospital and the hook was removed easily under mild sedation. She received a couple of weeks of nutritional support.
  • Sven was hooked June 8 at Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton. Sven swallowed a large shark hook that was removed under sedation at Beach Pet Hospital. Once some mild swelling resolved, Sven began eating well.
  • Scar was hooked June 9 at Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton. The hook was removed without sedation. Scar’s blood work and x-rays showed no other health concerns and after some nutritional support.
  • Genie was hooked June 9 at Virginia Beach Fishing Pier on 15th Street. The fisherman reported using a small J-hook, but no hook was observed when the Stranding Response team arrived. Genie’s blood work and x-rays showed no other health concerns. Genie received nutritional support.
  • Pumba was hooked June 19 at Virginia Beach Fishing Pier on 15th Street. Pumba was caught by a treble hook in the corner of the mouth that was removed with minimal damage. Pumba’s x-rays and blood work showed no other health concerns.

The rehabilitated turtles are now cleared by veterinary staff to be released. All six turtles will have an acoustic tag that transmits information about their whereabouts.

The Stranding Response Team urges anyone who sees a hooked turtle to call the 24-hour hotline at 757-385-7575, bring the turtle up onto the pier or boat using a net, do not attempt to remove the hook yourself, and keep the turtle contained in a quiet, shaded area until Stranding Response personnel arrives.

The Kemp’s ridley is the most endangered sea turtle species.

Pictures from a March 2015 release: