Aquarium releases rehabilitated sea turtles Bassoon, Cello

The National Aquarium returned two sea turtles to the ocean in its first public release since before the COVID-19 pandemic.The aquarium released two Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, Bassoon and Cello, on Thursday at Assateague State Park.The turtles were among 28 other sea turtles rescued in November off the coast of Massachusetts. Bassoon and Cello came to the aquarium suffering from varying injuries and pneumonia that required a variety of treatments, from acupuncture to physical therapy.Both turtles made a full recovery and were returned to their ocean home.”The National Aquarium has rescued and rehabilitated sea turtles for over three decades, but over half our patients have come in over the last eight years,” National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli said in a statement. “The science suggests that sea turtle strandings are only going to increase in the years ahead, along with the costs of rescuing, caring for and releasing them.”The aquarium said there’s no sustained and direct federal funding, which could impact future rescues.US Sen. Chris Van Hollen and more than three dozen members of Congress have endorsed calls for funding sea turtle stranding response and rehabilitation in the federal budget.”Sea turtles are an endangered species and protecting them helps maintain healthy ocean habitats,” Van Hollen said in a statement . “The National Aquarium’s work on this front has been pivotal — and the release of Bassoon and Cello highlights their success. We must continue to invest in protecting this species.”Since the bill’s introduction earlier this summer, 49 institutions from 24 states and territories have called on Congress to pass the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act and fund sea turtle stranding response and rehabilitation.

The National Aquarium returned two sea turtles to the ocean in its first public release since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aquarium released two Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, Bassoon and Cello, on Thursday at Assateague State Park.

The turtles were among 28 other sea turtles rescued in November off the coast of Massachusetts. Bassoon and Cello came to the aquarium suffering from varying injuries and pneumonia that required a variety of treatments, from acupuncture to physical therapy.

Both turtles made a full recovery and were returned to their ocean home.

“The National Aquarium has rescued and rehabilitated sea turtles for over three decades, but over half our patients have come in over the last eight years,” National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli said in a statement. “The science suggests that sea turtle strandings are only going to increase in the years ahead, along with the costs of rescuing, caring for and releasing them.”

The aquarium said there’s no sustained and direct federal funding, which could impact future rescues.

US Sen. Chris Van Hollen and more than three dozen members of Congress have endorsed calls for funding sea turtle stranding response and rehabilitation in the federal budget.

“Sea turtles are an endangered species and protecting them helps maintain healthy ocean habitats,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “The National Aquarium’s work on this front has been pivotal — and the release of Bassoon and Cello highlights their success. We must continue to invest in protecting this species.”

Since the bill’s introduction earlier this summer, 49 institutions from 24 states and territories have called on Congress to pass the Sea Turtle Rescue Assistance Act and fund sea turtle stranding response and rehabilitation.

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