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Nine Sea Turtles Return To Water After Being Nursed Back To Health

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TOPSAIL BEACH — Nine endangered sea turtles were returned to their natural habitat Wednesday afternoon.

The release comes just weeks after dozens of dead sea turtles washed up on the state's barrier islands.

"This is the great news today and the bad news is when turtles do die and wash up for whatever reason, this is the great ending for that kind of season," says environmental educator Lois Nixon, a member of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina.

Nine turtles are starting a new life after almost dying at sea. Four turtles were found in North Carolina; five were found in New England states. Each was volunteered back to health at theSea Turtle Hospitalat Topsail Beach.

"To be able to take nine animals that would not have had a chance had it not been for the hard work of a lot of people, they have another chance at life," says hospital director Jean Beasley. "We are delighted to be able to be a part of that and to give them that chance."

The releases come after months of medicine, mending and mothering. Hospital volunteer Ken Scupp walks two miles on Topsail Beach every day looking for new nests. After volunteering his time, he is enjoying the satisfaction of making a small change to the big picture.

"We are, in essence, trying to our bit to help them get a little bit better start to recover," Scupp says. "Hopefully, they will be here for hundreds of years more."

The hospital is still taking care of 24 turtles.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
Brian Bowman, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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