Loggerhead turtles leave Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center | News

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Loggerhead turtles leave Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center

BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A bale of turtles will soon be released back into the ocean thanks to the University of New England's Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center.

MARC received six loggerhead turtles on November 30, because The New England Aquarium's tanks are full.

The endangered turtles were suffering from hypothermia and couldn't navigate around the tip of Cape Cod to swim south for the winter. That typically happens this time of year, known as stranding season.  

According to MARC lab technician, Shannon Prendiville, every few years there is a stranding season in which the number of hypothermic turtles skyrockets. "It usually happens when there is a quick drop in temperature like this year."

The six turtles recovering at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center are among more than one hundred that have been rescued this stranding season.

"When they first came in they really just kind of laid there. They didn't have a lot of energy. They didn't do a lot," says lab technician, Asheley Simpson. "Whereas now they are starting to give us problems which is what we like in this field, it means that they're feeling better."

Loggerhead turtles are tough for technicians to care for because of their size. They can weigh up to 75lbs, and have to be taken out of the tank for treatments.

"It's really rewarding because the populations aren't that high with sea turtles, they're all endangered so it's really nice to put them back in the water," says UNE Marine Biology Student, Amanda Rosa.

After nearly a week at the center, the turtles are ready to be transported via Coast Guard plane to Florida to complete recovery at another facility.