A pair of olive ridley turtles are scheduled to arrive Wednesday at SeaWorld San Diego to continue their rehabilitation, the theme park announced Monday.
The turtles were found comatose after two big winter storms on the Oregon coast in December.
Named Thunder and Lightning, they originally were to be flown by the U.S. Coast Guard on March 17 to Naval Air Station North Island, but that plan was shelved because the transportation was not available at that time.
Once Thunder and Lightning make it to San Diego, they’ll be taken to SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Center to continue their care — with the goal of eventually returning them to the ocean.
The turtles, which belong to an endangered species, are currently at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Park officials said Thunder is 2 feet long and weighs about 80 pounds. Her primary medical issue was severe hypothermia. Lightning, also 2 feet long and weighing about 50 pounds, also suffered from hypothermia, as well as other problems, including a buoyancy issue and injuries to both eyes.
Olive ridleys are found throughout the Pacific Ocean, though mostly in tropical and subtropical areas. They generally venture no further north than Southern California on the eastern Pacific coast but do sometimes wander into the relatively cold waters of Oregon and Washington State, according to SeaWorld.
—City News Service
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