SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A pair of turtles found suffering from hypothermia along the Oregon Coast are on the road to recovery here in San Diego.
The two endangered olive ridley sea turtles, named Thunder and Lightning, were rescued by the Oregon Coast Aquarium and transported to Naval Air Station North Island on a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules. The pair were then handed over to the SeaWorld Rescue Team and will spend the next few months in recovery at SeaWorld San Diego.
"It’s a very long day for these turtles but it's critical to their survival and our ability to get them in a comfortable position so we can give them that second chance at life," said Mike Price, SeaWorld assistant curator, fishes.
Thunder and Lightning were originally spotted by Oregon Fish and Wildlife officials off the Oregon Coast. Oregon Coast Aquarium personnel were called in to rescue the pair and which were found suffering from hypothermia and fifteen pounds underweight.
"They were really lethargic. They were cold. Lightning looked like she had been out there for a while. Her eyes were so swollen we couldn't even get a good look at them," said Mark Murray, Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Olive Ridley turtles are often found throughout the Pacific Ocean in tropical or subtropical areas. After a few months in rehabilitation at SeaWorld, Thunder and Lightning are expected to be returned to the ocean.
"With thunder and lightning coming hopefully thunder and lightning will take that sweet storm south to their home," said Mike Price.
The turtles will be placed at the Animal Rescue Center and not on display. The team will work to get the turtles back to health, which could take a few months.