Once near death, rescued sea turtles sent back to the ocean

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — Three sea turtles that were near death when they were plucked from the surf at the Jersey shore with illnesses or injuries are back in the ocean. The volunteer group Sea Turtle Recovery is based at Turtle Back Zoo in northern New Jersey. The group brought the trio to Point Pleasant Beach early Tuesday, and released them into the surf. Among them were Silver Belle, a critically endangered Kemp’s ridley turtle; Melbourne, a green turtle, and loggerhead turtle Tabitha, the most severely ill whose survival after her June 2019 stranding in Cape May looked doubtful. Center co-director Brandy Biehl calls their return to the sea “a magical moment.”