Three endangered sea turtles were returned to the waters off Cape Cod Monday night after washing ashore last winter and suffering from hypothermia, the New England Aquarium announced Tuesday.
The turtles were rehabilitated at the aquarium and were released with satellite tags on their shells, which will send back information to researchers about what they eat and where they travel. The tags will fall off after about six to nine months.
The juvenile sea turtles, named Snap, Crackle, and Tony the Tiger after breakfast cereal characters, were among the last of 85 sea turtles stranded off Cape Cod last November and December to be released. They were rescued by the staff of the Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and taken to the aquarium’s sea turtle hospital in Quincy, where they underwent months of rehab.
According to the New England Aquarium, there is one sea turtle still in rehab.
Two of the newly-released turtles are green sea turtles and weigh about 20 pounds, but will eventually get up to 400 pounds. The other turtle, a Kemp’s ridley turtle, weighs about 10 pounds and will grow to 100 pounds.
Scientists believe the young sea turtles that migrate to Cape Cod to feed on crabs are unable to navigate the area and as the waters cool in the fall end up washing up onto the beaches, according to the aquarium.