The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team released seven rehabilitated sea turtles today along the shore behind Neptune’s Park at 31st Street.
The team has already released several turtles this year after they were rescued from various places and brought to the aquarium by fisherman and other good Samaritans. The turtles were either caught on fishermens’ lines or found cold-stunned in the water.
The team has continued the tradition of naming the turtles with a yearly theme. Last year the theme was “Fall drinks” and this year the theme follows “Disney characters.”
The turtles released were named as follows:
- Pumpkin Spice Latte, a Kemp’s ridley turtle found cold-stunned and stranded in Massachusetts November 21, 2014. (He needed additional rehabilitation)
- Olaf, a Kemp’s ridley turtle, hooked in the mouth at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier June 9.
- Mickey Mouse, a loggerhead turtle who had a hook lodged in its upper esophagus at Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton June 10.
- Dory, a loggerhead hooked at Buckroe Fishing Pier June 10.
- Timon, a Kemp’s ridley hooked June 19 at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.
- Ariel, a green sea turtle hooked July 3 at Buckroe Fishing Pier in Hampton.
- Mushu, a Kemp’s Ridley hooked July 8 at Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.
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.