Twenty-eight sea turtles recovering from hypothermia began the trip down from the New England Aquarium Animal Care Center in Massachusetts to the warm waters of Florida, Boston.com reported on Saturday. The turtles were part of an influx of hypothermic turtles this winter, aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse said.
The New England Aquarium broke records this past winter when it took in 242 sea turtles from the nearly 400 that were stranded on Massachusetts coast. According to LaCasse, the previous record held by the aquarium was 140 turtles in 1999.
LaCasse told Boston.com, "We had days when we shipped out 17 loggerheads to other facilities and took in 20. We literally had boxes of turtles back here."
Fellow rescued turtles in Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina joined the Massachusetts turtles on their way to Florida.
The Baltimore Sun reported that three turtles, named Chet, Biff and Two-Bit, were among the turtles that the National Aquarium on Saturday night. The Baltimore aquarium took in 13 turtles this winter, five of them which have already been released into the wild or moved to other facilities.
Around 50 turtles, many endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles, arrived Sunday morning at a state park in Jacksonville, Fla.
The little guys-smallest weighing about 5 1/2 pounds-will undergo a few final blood tests before being released into the ocean, Boston.com reported. According to CBS Baltimore, the turtles were originally found stranded off of Cape Cod, Mass. during the fall and were rehabilitated at six different locations along the East Coast.