VIDEO CLIP: Watch as Venus, a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, returns to the ocean. Video by Shelley Dawicki, NEFSC/NOAA
August 1, 2012

Sea Turtle Release on Martha's Vineyard

Venus Returns to the Ocean

Venus, a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, was released back into the Atlantic Ocean off of Martha's Vineyard July 31 after being cared for at NOAA's Woods Hole Science Aquarium since January 2011. The juvenile turtle was just over 16 inches long and weighed 24 pounds when released. Biologist Kristy Owen encouraged the turtle into the water at the Long Point Wildlife Refuge, managed by the Trustees of Reservations, who provided Aquarium staff with the release location.

Venus was one of four turtles who stranded on Cape Cod in December 2010 after being cold-stunned. All received follow-up care at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium until healthy, then released into warmer ocean waters. The other three were released last year, but Venus was not well enough to be released at that time. Venus has two flipper tags, one on each hind flipper, and a personal identification tag or PIT tag, similar to those placed on dogs and cats, should the animal be caught or strand in the future.

For more information about the Woods Hole Science Aquarium's turtle conservation program, go to: http://aquarium.nefsc.noaa.gov/turtles.html
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Aquarium volunteer Anne Lucas (in yellow), high school intern Jessie Kennedy, volunteer Brittany Griffin (partly hidden) and Brad Brown Summer Student Troy McInerney transport Venus from the van to the nearby beach for release. Photo by Shelley Dawicki, NEFSC/NOAA
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Biologist Kristy Owen places Venus at the water's edge. Photo by Shelley Dawicki, NEFSC/NOAA
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Kristy Owen waits as Venus acclimates to the surroundings before entering the water. Aquarium staff, partly visible at right, document the event. Photo by Shelley Dawicki, NEFSC/NOAA