Local wildlife officials are releasing a rare group of sea turtles back into the ocean. An initiative to preserve the animals is gaining momentum around the state and country.
Six Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles are set to return home next week to Shell Point Beach, thanks to the help of veterinarian Norman Griggs. This is a part of a project called The Pier Initiative. It encourages fisherman or people visiting local docks to contact wildlife officials when they see a hurt animal.
“We find that if we can get our hands in and intervene in a medical way early on, we are able to save turtles who would otherwise die from their injuries,” Griggs says.
Cypress Rudelo is the Executive Director of Gulf Specimen Marine Lab and one of the main contributors to the project. He says the initiative is growing.
“It’s actually spreading throughout the state of Florida,” Rudelo says. “There are multiple turtle rehabs all along the coast that has been adapting it. It’s more in South Florida and its over in Pensacola too. It’s even in Jacksonville and other states right now.”
Rudelo says the initiative started to save turtles. But now he says it also collects data and tracks the migration pattern.