Georgia Aquarium rescues sea turtles from Hurricane Matthew

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Georgia Aquarium rescues sea turtles from Hurricane Matthew

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A sea turtle from the Georgia coast floats in a tank at the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium is tending to turtles brought to the aquarium from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island last weekend. The Jekyll Island facility was evacuated as both staff and turtles escaped the threat of Hurricane Matthew. Photo: courtesy Georgia Aquarium

Humans weren’t the only evacuees leaving the Georgia coast last weekend.

Over the weekend 18 rescued turtles escaped the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, and traveled from Jekyll Island to Atlanta in the company of staff from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

They were among the creatures in the care of the non-profit conservation center, which found them abandoned, stranded or injured on the Georgia coast.

Staff from the center brought the turtles to the Georgia Aquarium, where the animals will stay for about a week, until they can return to the island and assess the damage to their own homes and to the Jekyll Island sea turtle facility.

The rescued creatures include a variety of young green sea turtles, kemp’s ridley turtles, loggerhead hatchlings, box turtles, and river cooters.

The Georgia Sea Turtle Center was created and is operated by the Jekyll Island Authority as a primary conservation program dedicated to increasing awareness through sea turtle education, rehabilitation, and research programs.

In a statement, the Georgia Aquarium said “the Georgia Aquarium is proud to offer a temporary home and uninterrupted care to these rescued turtles.”

For more information about the Georgia Aquarium, go to their website. For more information about the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, visit their website.

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