UPDATE: The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island and the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles released two sea turtles back into the ocean at the Nags Head Town Hall Beach Access Sunday.
Vortex, a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle, was released with a satellite transmitter.
Track the turtle here
Heatwave, a former exhibit green sea turtle, will also be released.
Vortex, a young loggerhead, was hit by a propeller in May 2013 and suffered a skull fracture. Aquile, a green turtle, got frostbite and lost part of her outer shell in January. That left part of her spine exposed.
They're being cared for at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, so the rehab team was glad to make the short trip to Sentara Kitty Hawk instead of having to drive to the veterinary school at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
“We were nervous about how hard the trip would be on them,” said Christian Legner, the aquarium's curator.
“Turtles are precious to us,” said Janet Jarrett, executive director of the Sentara Kitty Hawk campus. “Many of us here volunteer to guard nests when the eggs are ready to hatch, and we’re glad to help the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles and the North Carolina Aquarium to rehabilitate them.”
With continued progress, Legner hopes Vortex might be released back to the wild sometime in August.
Loggerhead turtles are a protected species in North Carolina waters. Green turtles are on the endangered list in Florida waters.
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island cared for a record 104 injured turtles in 2013.