More than a dozen endangered sea turtles that were rescued after sustaining serious injuries in the Mediterranean Sea made their way onto a beach in Israel on Friday after months of medical treatment.
The 15 loggerhead sea turtles and two green sea turtles were released into the wild after months of rehabilitation at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in central Israel. Each had been brought to the facility run by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority over the winter, suffering various types of physical trauma, likely caused by underwater explosives.
Sea turtle species are listed as threatened and endangered respectively by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are protected under Israeli law.
The marine reptiles received months of intensive care, starting with antibiotics and fluids, at the facility north of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coast.
Yaniv Levy, a sea turtle ecologist who runs the center, said that before releasing the turtles, the biologists made sure “we are not making any mistakes and returning the 100% healthy turtle back to the wild”.
After they were cleaned, measured and weighed, the scientists stuck satellite tags on the shells of several individuals so they could monitor the turtles’ location and continue to study their behavior in the wild.