Five large, rescued sea turtles are back in the ocean today.

That’s after they were equipped with some high technology, which will help marine biologists track their travels and unravel the mystery of where they go.

On Sunday, these beautiful, brown-shelled loggerheads were pulled from their tanks at the New England Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital in Quincy. They had their shells dried, slightly sanded on a small area on top, then had some glue applied and a wallet-sized satellite tag with an antenna attached. After the glue dried, the turtles returned to their tanks for one last night in the Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital. Early this morning, they were transported to Dennis on Cape Cod beach for release.

These turtles have not seen the ocean in six months!
beachgoers and rescuers watch released loggerhead on sand
Rescuers watch a released loggerhead sea turtle crawl toward the water.

The satellite tags adorning the turtles’ backs are sophisticated, scientific GPS devices that will transmit the location of the turtle and its diving data many times per day when it surfaces to take a breath. Marine biologists are interested to learn exactly where and how long these turtles feed around Cape Cod during the summer. Later, when they are ready to migrate south, some might head to Florida while others might swim east to spend the winter in the warm Gulf Stream. All this information is helpful to researchers and wildlife managers. The tags will last from six to nine months before falling off.

Weighing from 50 to 120 pounds each, these five loggerheads stranded on Cape Cod last November and December due to prolonged hypothermia and other life-threatening medical conditions. Brick Red weighed 120 pounds when it stranded with no heart or respiration rate. But turtles are tough, and now Brick Red is ready to return to the wild along with Blue Bell, Laser Lemon, Banana Mania, and Pink Sherbet.

Watch

See one of the rescued sea turtles successfully crawl and scrape its way back to the beach. Volume up for the bystander applause!

Loggerhead Sea Turtles Head Home

More Pictures from the Release