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Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium returns turtles to the Atlantic

INTRO – Sea turtles which had enjoyed temporary housing at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores have been returned to the Atlantic Ocean. George Olsen has more.

Twenty-one sea turtles had been under the Aquarium’s care after being found cold-stunned off Cape Lookout last month. Cold-stunning in turtles occurs when water temps dip below 50. It is similar to hypothermia in humans, leaving the turtle’s listless with a decreased heart rate that can lead to death. The turtles quickly responded to medical treatment and available food and were returned to the Atlantic last Friday. To get them away from the chilly waters along the coastline the turtles were transported 50 miles offshore to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream by the U-S Coast Guard. Most of the turtles released were young green turtles plus two Kemp’s Ridleys. One of the larger green turtles was outfitted with a satellite transmitter so its movements can be tracked.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.