Delivering boxed sea turtles at the airport
Marine conservationists unload a plane-load of boxed sea turtles. Once removed from the cold, the animals are nursed back to health at several southern rehabilitation centers, before being released back into the environment.

Sea Turtle Rescue Charity Looking For Volunteers

The general aviation conservation charity Turtles Fly Too has spent several years rescuing hundreds of sea turtles that wash up on New England beaches each fall as temperatures drop.

The organization is looking to introduce and recruit volunteer pilots and aircraft owners to the program, which relies on private and corporate aircraft to shuttle the endangered marine reptiles from the Boston area, where their numbers overwhelm the resources of the New England Aquarium, to sea turtle rehabilitation centers along the southern Eastern Seaboard, where they can be nursed back to health and then released.

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The turtles range in size from several pounds to more than 100 pounds, and they are delivered to the airport in a carefully choreographed schedule, packed in boxes and ready to fly.

The cold-stunned turtles, many swept north by the Gulf Stream, become stranded and would die if not for the efforts of conservation workers who collect them and care for them, and for the pilots and aircraft operators who agree to transport them south. Over the past year alone, TF2 arranged transport for 122 of the creatures. Some corporate aviation pilots who participated in the program have said that the turtles were generally less troublesome than their usual human passengers.

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