Dog walkers spotted the turtle in a marshy, muddy area on outer Cape Cod. Because of the tides, the turtle rescue teams at Mass. Audubon and IFAW had to wait until the next morning to rescue the 655-lb turtle.
The big guy was transported to the New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center so the Rescue Team could rehabilitate the turtle, pump it full of medicine and other good stuff. The turtle was about 200-lbs underweight!
The rescuers took blood samples and began treatment right away. They worked in near silence so as not to stress the animal out.
After a couple days, the turtle was well enough to be released back into the ocean. So with the help of a forklift and a couple dozen rescuers, they hefted the turtle onto a lobster boat and headed a couple miles out to sea. NOTE: Check out the satellite tag on his back!
Heave-ho! The turtle scrambled (in slow motion) into the water and dove immediately, which is a good sign. But the turtle is still pretty skinny and unhealthy, the rescue team is guarded about his survival.
This video shows release day, you can get an idea of just how honkin’ big this fella is.
Remember that satellite tag? Now rescuers can stalk the turtle (and gather rare and crucial information about where these sea faring dinosaurs go). Hopefully he’s munching jellies, getting big and strong so he can remain a proud member of this endangered species.