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Endangered sea turtles returned to oceans after months of special care

Turtles were rescued in December from frigid waters, nursed back to health

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Sixteen rehabilitated rare sea turtles are now back in the ocean where they belong, after being rescued from frigid waters off the coast of New England in December.

Members of the SeaWorld Orlando rescue team returned the endangered turtles to the ocean on Tuesday after they spent months treating them at Sea World's critical care facility. 

When the Kemp ridley sea turtles arrived at SeaWorld's facility, many of the animals were suffering from pneumonia. Others were treated for corneal ulcers and malnutrition.

After three months of individualized care consisting of antibiotics, fluids and special diets, the turtles were cleared to return to their natural habitat.

Kemp's ridley sea turtles are the most endangered species of sea turtles. Human interference, nest disruption, and habitat loss are just some of the reasons for the population decline. 

In collaboration with government agencies and partner marine life facilities, more than 2,000 sea turtles have been rescued by the SeaWorld Rescue team since 1980. 

If you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922 or by dialing *FWC (392) on a cellphone.