Rehabilitated sea turtle released at Point Pleasant Beach

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POINT PLEASANT BEACH -

A sea turtle that was hospitalized and rehabilitated at the Turtle Back Zoo was released at Point Pleasant Beach Tuesday morning.

The turtle, a 5-year-old Kemp's ridley sea turtle, became stranded after coming to New Jersey from Cape Cod in November 2018. Sea Turtle Recovery says this is the 41st turtle it has rehabilitated and released since opening two and a half years ago.

Bill Deerr of Sea Turtle Recovery says this species of sea turtle is critically endangered, so it's important to release them to hopefully increase their population. He says this turtle was their sickest turtle this year.

Deerr says the turtle, named Vesper, had hypothermia, a gastrointestinal blockage, a respiratory infection and a severe ear infection that kept him from diving.

He says that Kemp's ridley sea turtles normally nest in Texas and Mexico, and they will migrate up the coast for their juvenile stage. They will then return down south for mating when they reach maturity at 12 years old. They can live to about 60 to 80 years old.

Deerr says the turtles will go as far up the coast as New England and can stand waters as cool as 68 degrees and that this is the perfect time of year for releases.

This is the third summer that Sea Turtle Recovery has held a release. It says there is another turtle currently being rehabilitated. If he's doing well, the group will hold another release next summer.

 

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