VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Seven sea turtles put on quite a show along the oceanfront Wednesday as they were released back into the wild.
Hundreds of people showed up to see six Kemp’s ridley turtles and one Loggerhead turtle scoot down the beach and out to sea.
The turtles were accidentally hooked by recreational fisherman at piers in the area this month. They were then taken to be rehabilitated by the Virginia Aquarium.
The Virginia Aquarium has been working with the fishing piers to educate people on what to do if they snag a turtle.
Kristine Williams with the Virginia Aquarium said, “We have signs on the piers with instructions on how to bring the turtles safely on to the pier and who to call, which is us, so we can make sure no further damage comes to the turtle.”
This year’s naming theme for rehab patients at the aquarium is Disney characters. The six Kemp’s ridley turtles released Wednesday are named Elsa, Minnie Mouse, Sven, Scar, Genie, and Pumba. The Loggerhead turtle released is named Tinkerbell.
All the sea turtles have an acoustic tag that transmits information about their whereabouts.
The number of turtles the Virginia Aquarium is rehabbing has gone from six in 2014 up to 21 in 2015.