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