600-pound leatherback turtle rescued from Massachusetts mudflat

The New England Aquarium shared video from the release of a 600-pound leatherback turtle that was found stranded in a Massachusetts mudflat.

The aquarium said crews responded alongside personnel from the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and the International Fund for Animal Welfare when the 5-foot-long turtle was spotted stranded in a mudflat on the Herring River in Wellfleet.

The turtle was examined by veterinarians and determined to be in good health, so officials decided the animal should be released back into the wild.

The turtle was outfitted with satellite and acoustic tracking devices before being returned to the water at Herring Cove in Provincetown.

“When working with stranded sea turtles in New England, it’s a rarity to have a turtle that is in such good condition. We suspect this leatherback got disoriented in the tidal flats of Wellfleet and we feel optimistic that it will survive, thanks to the collective rescue efforts of this fantastic group of colleagues,” Kara Dodge, research scientist at the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, said.