PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – It was a waiting game outside of Sheltair Aviation Wednesday morning, as two local marine institutes prepared to welcome visitors from New England.
30 juvenile Kemps Ridley sea turtles were flown down from the New England Aquarium, after becoming “cold stunned” in the now chilly waters off of Cape Cod.
Gulf World received 22 of the turtles and Gulfarium took-in eight. Gulfarium Stranding Coordinator Tabitha Seigfried said they’re excited to help, but it’s been a busy year.
“We took 115 from January to now so adding in eight more is a bit of a challenge but we’ve made the space, we have the room and we have the volunteers and the willpower to do it and we’re super, super excited that we get to be a part of this again,” Seigfried said.
Each step in rescuing and rehabilitating sea turtles takes a lot of time, effort, and money.
“As a nonprofit, we appreciate any and all support that the public can give us through donations, adoptions, and Amazon Wishlist purchases,” Gulf World Marine Institute Stranding Coordinator Lauren Albrittain said.
The turtles are expected to be at each facility for at least a month. They will be released back into the Gulf of Mexico on case-by-case bases.