Thirty vulnerable sea turtles took to the skies Sunday morning, chartered from a crowded Quincy facility to the warmer waters of Baltimore, according to the New England Aquarium.
The Kemp’s ridley turtles are a fraction of the more than 100 hypothermic turtles rescued from Cape Cod beaches over the last 10 days. In a news release, the aquarium said there is “no end in site,” and its turtle hospital in Quincy is at capacity.
“Biologists there are looking to move re-warmed and stabilized sea turtles to other rehabilitation facilities throughout the East and Gulf Coasts,” the aquarium said.
Volunteer group Turtles Fly Too flew the endangered reptiles to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, taking off from an airport in Marshfield. In Baltimore, they will undergo further rehabilitation, in the hopes of eventually being released back into the wild.
With temperatures plummeting as winter approaches, more and more sea turtles — many of them young — have become stunned by the cold, and stranded ashore.
Turtle-stranding season this year began several weeks ago, when two young Kemp’s ridleys washed up on the shores of Dennis and were brought to the aquarium’s turtle hospital.
Last week, the aquarium drove 15 turtles to the National Marine Life Center in Bourne.