The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team released 12 rehabilitated sea turtles off the coast of North Carolina, March 16. The turtles were rescued and cared for after citizens discovered them “cold stunned” or with physical injuries.
Aquarium staff and volunteers provided food and medicine to the turtles for several months before eventually tagging and releasing them into more habitable areas with warmer water.
The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program’s mission is to promote the conservation of marine animal species through stranding response, research, rehabilitation and education. It is largely a volunteer-based group operating from the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Care Center in Virginia Beach. The program is supported by the Virginia Aquarium Foundation through donations from the community and grant-making organizations.
To report a dead or live stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program 24-hour hotline at (757) 385-7575.