Thursday, October 9, 2003

Turtles get lift back to sea



By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NEWPORT - Staffers from the Newport Aquarium are traveling hundreds of miles by van and then charter boat to return six sea turtles to their natural habitat in the Atlantic Ocean.

The turtles - three loggerhead and three Kemp's ridley turtles - have been part of the aquarium's "Turtles - Journey of Survival" exhibit. They were rescued last year on a North Carolina beach and raised at the aquarium, said spokeswoman Jill Issacs.

"We do a lot of work when it comes to conservation," Issacs said over a cell phone as she traveled with the turtles down Interstate 75 Wednesday morning.

"These turtles would not have made it in the wild without the head start we gave them," she said. "And now we're returning them to the wild where they are mature enough to survive."

The group will return to Newport with two new loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings that were born over the summer. Like the others, the turtles will be raised at the aquarium, and then returned to the sea in about a year.

E-mail pcrowley@enquirer.com.




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