The Sea Turtle Hospital in Surf City released more than 20 Sea Turtles into their ocean home, after caring for them all winter.
Hospital Founder, Jean Beasley, said, it’s bittersweet to see them go.
That’s why she celebrates with ‘tears and cheers.’
“Every time we have another release, I sort of go like this and put my hand over my heart, because I don’t know how I still have a heart left— because everyone that goes takes a piece of it with them, so if you saw me whispering to a few of them I was saying ‘behave yourself out there, don’t get into trouble,” Beasley said. Just keep swimming.”
The turtles ranged from ages three to late 20s.
The largest and oldest turtle released was Big Guy.
“A loggerhead is considered an adult at 35 years old, and Big Guy was getting there,” Beasley said.
Abby Hayes is an intern at the hospital and said she will miss “The Big Guy” the most.
“I hope the turtles are strong and ready to swim in the ocean,” Hayes said. I hope they find wherever they came from. I also hope that Big Guy will find a mate out there, and he’ll be happy to be home.”
Although the release was for the turtles, Beasley said there’s a lesson she hopes everyone takes away from the experience.
“It’s about the planet,” Beasley said. This is our home. If we don’t protect it, look after it, and keep it healthy— not only do the animals suffer, but we suffer as well. Without them, there is no us.”