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Maryland Biologists Save Turtles From Hurricane Sandy

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Pictured above: A loggerhead turtle at Virginia Living Museum.
Pictured above: A loggerhead turtle at Virginia Living Museum.

Even before Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the Eastern Seaboard, tearing up large portions of Assateague Island, some of which are still closed today, staffers and biologists from the Marine Animal Rescue at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, raced across the bridge to scoop up a nest of loggerhead turtle hatchlings and eggs, and evacuated them off the barrier island and back to Baltimore.

The nest, which biologists say was the first they've found on the Maryland side of Assateague Island, contained two tiny hatchlings, one of which unfortunately died from an alleged bacterial infection, and 160 eggs that had been incubating in the hot sand since late July.

Biologists say the lone surviving hatchling will be nursed back to health, while the nest of eggs will be incubated and monitored with ultrasounds to ensure that the baby turtles inside are healthy and growing to term.

The aquarium plans to release the turtles that survive back into the wild in the spring.


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