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Rescued Sea Turtles Move to SeaWorld San Diego

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Following months of rehabilitation at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, sea turtles Thunder and Lightning have been transferred to San Diego.

The endangered olive ridley sea turtles were found comatose, hypothermic and malnourished on Oregon beaches in December. Jim Burke, Director of Animal Husbandry at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, says at first, it was all about stabilization.

BURKE: "What we were seeing with these turtles is their behavior was great. They were able to eat, visually hunt food. We had done what we could do here. They needed a larger capacity habitat with natural sunlight. We, at this point, are not able to provide that."

That's where SeaWorld San Diego comes in. Packed into padded, breathable crates, the two female turtles caught a U.S. Coast Guard flight to Southern California earlier this week. Thunder & Lightning will continue their rehabilitation there, in preparation for release later this summer.

Born and raised in Eugene, Anni started at KLCC in 2000 as a reporter and co-host of Northwest Passage. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Anni moved to New York City. She worked in education for several years before returning to her true love, journalism. Anni co-founded and co-hosted Dailysonic, a narrative-based news podcast. She interned at WNYC's On The Media, then becoming WNYC's assistant producer of Morning Edition.
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