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Hatchlings rescued from oil released

Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:18 PM   |   Comments

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- More than 2,000 sea turtle hatchlings moved from beaches along the Gulf of Mexico have been released into the Atlantic off Florida this summer.

In the latest release, 45 young turtles were freed Monday night on a remote beach on Merritt Island, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported.

Biologists located hundreds of nests on beaches threatened by oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill and excavated them. The nests were trucked to a warehouse at the Kennedy Space Center.

"While there are still many nests left to hatch at Kennedy, we're ecstatic about the early results from this high-stakes mission to preserve and protect these amazing sea creatures," said Tom Strickland, assistant secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

Officials say the task of moving the nests was a delicate one. FedEx Custom Critical worked out a method of minimizing vibration and changes in temperature during the 500-mile road trip.

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