Richie Moretti, right, founder of the Florida Keys-based Turtle Hospital soothes OD, a 320-pound green sea turtle, as it is measured and examined at the hospital in Marathon, Fla. Because of an irreparable collapsed lung, the turtle cannot be released into the wild. It is scheduled to be loaded on a FedEx flight to Las Vegas early Thursday, July 25, and live out its life at the The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Resort and Casino. (Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau)
News Release: Associated Press News
PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (AP) -- Dozens of endangered sea turtles that needed rescue after recent cold snaps have been released back into the Gulf of Mexico off northwest Florida.
About 50 turtles were tagged and released Tuesday off Cape San Blas.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say the turtles were rescued late last week when water temperatures dipped below 50 degrees. Most of the turtles were green sea turtles found from Escambia County to St. Joseph Bay. The turtles were taken to Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City to recover.
Cold-stunned turtles become listless and may wash ashore, unable to move and vulnerable to attacks from other animals.
A buoy monitors temperatures in turtle feeding waters in St. Joseph Bay and alerts scientists when conditions may cause cold-stunning in turtles.