57 Stunned Turtles Released Into Gulf

PORT ST. JOE - Dozens of sea turtles, effected by last week's freezing weather, are back in the Gulf of Mexico.

Workers and volunteers from several agencies released the turtles Tuesday afternoon.

57 endangered sea turtles practically swam out of their boxes, as rescuers released them back into St. Joe Bay.

They've been recuperating at Gulf World since last week, after suffering cold stunning.

"If the water is too cold, they float at the surface of the water in a comatose state and then we send out rescues teams to locate them as they float on the surface," said Secret Holmes-Douglas with Gulf World.

When the turtles arrived at Gulf World, experts examined them, gave them some fluids, then put them in a pool of warm water.

Holmes-Douglas said, "The biggest turtle we have is about 70 pounds and the smallest is about two pounds."

After a week of care, they were ready to head home to the waters off of Port St. Joe.

"We were helping with the search so we are glad they are going to be released today," said Carol Buikema, a volunteer who helped rescue the turtles.

Visitor, Ruth Wood Visitor said "I think it's a wonderful thing that these turtle are rescued and brought back healthy and put back in their environment."

Gulf World is still caring for 6 turtles suffering from other illnesses or injuries.


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