Giant 655-pound leatherback turtle rescued and released (+video)
A huge 7-foot-long leatherback sea turtle was treated for dehydration and released off Cape Cod. Meanwhile, a pregnant hawksbill sea turtle was rescued in the US Virgin Islands, and has since laid 55 eggs.
Harwichport, Mass., and Marathon, Fla.
The New England Aquarium in Boston say it's released a 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long), 655-pound (297-kilogram) leatherback sea turtle back into waters off Cape Cod after it was treated for dehydration, trauma, and shock.
The turtle was found stranded near the tip of the Cape Thursday. Experts at the aquarium say the male turtle was underweight (adult males typically weigh 1,000 pounds) and lethargic, and a large portion of its left front flipper was missing because of some kind of trauma.
Veterinarians treated it, and aquarium officials say the turtle regained its strength, and they released it off Harwichport on Saturday.
Leatherback sea turtles are endangered and the largest reptile in the world. Experts treated the turtle using information obtained from research on leatherbacks that were briefly captured over the past few summers off Cape Cod.
Leatherbacks migrate up the East Coast each June to feed on abundant sea jellies (jellyfish) in Massachusetts waters, particularly around the Cape and the Islands. They will migrate south for the winter in September and October, according to the New England Aquarium.