Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteers and Collier County Natural Resources Department officials released 10 cold-stunned green sea turtles Thursday that had been treated at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. The Mote turtles were released alongside six turtles that were treated at the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife Inc., on Sanibel Island.
Most of the 10 Mote turtles stranded in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Ideally, turtles are released in the same general area in which they stranded, but Collier County was the closest location in which water temperatures were warm enough for the turtles. Because turtle rehabilitation facilities are over capacity, state officials allowed the release.
Since the week of Jan. 4, Mote has treated 44 sea turtles — the largest group of sea turtles the facility has ever treated in such a short time frame. Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital continues to run over capacity with 19 turtles.
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