VIRGINIA BEACH -- The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team will release three rehabilitated turtles that were hooked by recreational fishermen on Monday, August 18 at 9 a.m.
The Stranding Response Team is releasing the turtles along the shore behind Neptune’s Park at 31st Street.
This year’s naming theme for rehab patients at the Aquarium is “heroes and villains.” The sex of each young turtle is yet to be determined.
Ursula, a Kemp’s ridley which is the most endangered turtle species, was hooked at Virginia Beach Fishing Pier June 7. She had several lacerations, a healing rear flipper wound and corneal ulcers. Ursula was also undernourished.
• Voldemort, another Kemp’s ridley turtle, is best known for his second hooking and rehab stay at the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Care Center. He was superficially hooked with a J hook baited with squid by a fisherman on the Buckroe Fishing Pier July 2. He quickly recovered from that injury, was released and then was hooked again three days later but this time at Naval Station Norfolk. This hook required surgery as it was lodged in his esophagus.
• Green Goblin, the only green sea turtle among the group, was found on the bank of Owls Creek July 5. He was hooked through his right upper and lower eyelids with a J hook which was easily removed by the team. They also discovered a plastron (shell) fracture which has now stabilized.
The Stranding Response Team urges anyone who sees a hooked turtle to call the 24-hour hotline 757 385-7575. While you wait for assistance, do not pull a turtle up on the line which causes further injury but scoop it with a net. Then keep the turtle shaded and wet. Most of all, do not fish if you see turtles nearby.