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8 sea turtles released into Florida waters after rehabilitation at Miami Seaquarium

Loggerhead, green sea turtles released at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – Eight endangered sea turtles were released into Florida waters on Monday after they were rehabilitated at Miami Seaquarium.

"It is amazing because we see them come in and we see how bad off they are, and we're able to take care of them," Miami Seaquarium animal care supervisor Jessica Schiffhauer said.

Five of the seven loggerhead sea turtles were rescued earlier this year from the cold waters of Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts.

Staff at Miami Seaquarium named the reptiles after their favorite girl group from the U.K. -- Baby Spice, Ginger Spice, Posh Spice, Scary Spice and Sporty Spice.

Experts say the cold water can harm sea turtles by shutting down their organs and making it harder for them to move or breathe.

The five turtles, which are between 1 and 5 years old, were flown to South Florida in January by the U.S. Coast Guard.

They each weigh 65 pounds to about 100 pounds.

The other two loggerhead sea turtles were rescued after they were stranded in waters off Broward County and St. Lucie County, and a green sea turtle named Bowie was rescued from a Florida Power & Light canal intake in Broward County.

The two loggerhead sea turtles are named Scarlet and Tinsel.

Scarlet, who was found covered in barnacles and parasites off Broward County, was emaciated and lethargic, according to Miami Seaquarium employees. She weighs 120 pounds.

Tinsel, who weighs 74 pounds, was found in the St. Lucie Power Plant canal intake and was emaciated and lethargic.

Miami Seaquarium's animal care staff released the recovered reptiles into the waters off Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne.

"They get to go home," Schiffhauer said. "It's the best feeling in the world to know that you've helped these animas out."


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