Seven rescued endangered sea turtles being flown south on a private jetPrivate pilot to fly seven rescued sea turtles to Georgia for rehab and release

BOSTON, MA - December 18, 2007
Seven of the world’s most endangered sea turtles rescued from Cape Cod Bay in November and nursed back to health at the New England Aquarium in Boston will be flown on a private jet from Norwood, Massachusetts to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia for rehabilitation and eventual release. It sure beats swimming or the lines at Logan!

Thanks to the charitable spirit of a private pilot from Baltimore, these critically endangered sea turtles will be flown to the Georgia Sea Turtle Hospital on Jekyll Island to begin the final leg of their recovery journey. First found on beaches on the north side of Cape Cod with body temperatures as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit, these juvenile turtles were rescued by staff and volunteers of the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay. The cold-stunned turtles were then brought to the New England Aquarium in Boston for slow re-warming and weeks of veterinary care that included treatment for hypothermia, pneumonia, and severe dehydration. Once in Georgia, the turtles will begin a final rehabilitation phase and will eventually be released back into the Atlantic.

Five of the seven sea turtles flying to Georgia are of the Kemp-Ridley species. Biologists estimate that there are only a few thousand nesting Kemp-Ridley females left in the world. Over the past decade, this sea turtle rescue network led by the New England Aquarium, has treated and released several hundred of these critically endangered sea turtles.

Mike Mulligan, a Baltimore area resident, will fly his small jet into Norwood Airport. Mulligan will fly the seven endangered sea turtles non-stop to southern Georgia to a turtle rehabilitation hospital there. Also on hand and will be Connie Merigo head of the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Team.

The seven endangered sea turtles include Tinkerbell (the smallest) and Scooby Doo. This year, Aquarium rescue biologists named their turtle patients after cartoon characters.