Sea Turtle's Release Celebrated at Assateague Island - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sea Turtle's Release Celebrated at Assateague Island

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National Aquarium staff preparing to release sea turtles at Assateague National Seashore (WBOC) National Aquarium staff preparing to release sea turtles at Assateague National Seashore (WBOC)

ASSATEAGUE NATIONAL SEASHORE, Md.- The National Aquarium on Thursday celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Animal Rescue Program with the release of 12 rehabilitated sea turtles at the beach in Assateague. Thursday also marked World Sea Turtle Day, a day to honor and highlight the importance of sea turtles. 

The National Aquarium released two rehabilitated juvenile green sea turtles along with 10 rehabbed Kemp's Ridley sea turtles from the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and National Marine Life Center's Animal Rescue Program. 

The National Aquarium's two turtle's came to its animal care center in November 2015. "Hardhead" arrived with low body temperature, broken ribs and a tear in his lungs. "Beachcomber" suffered a rare blood infection and kidney problems. After seven months of rehab both were healthy enough to return to their national habitat. 

Jennifer Ditmarr, who is the manager of the National Aquarium's Animal Rescue Program, said she was very happy for this day.

"It's always very rewarding to be able to return, especially endangered or threatened sea turtles back to their natural habitat," Ditmarr said.

MerryJo Reckeweg, of Fruitland, Md., brought her three children to see the turtles released.

"It was so neat, they brought the turtles around real close to us so we could see them up close and then there were twelve turtles altogether and we got to see them  flap down to the water and go in, it was so exciting," Reckeweg said."

Since 1991, the team at the National Aquarium's Animal Rescue Program has successfully rescued, treated and returned more than 160 animals to their natural habitats, primarily along the Maryland coastline.

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