VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — An endangered sea turtle hooked off the Sandbridge Fishing Pier in Virginia Beach was released back into the sea Thursday morning.
The fondly named "Crystal Lake" is a Kemps Ridley sea turtle, one of the most critically endangered sea turtle species.
In the 80s, Kemps Ridley sea turtles almost went extinct when there were only about 200 nesting individuals. Today there are 7,000 to 9,000 of them, a big improvement but still a long way from a stable substantial population.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center stranding response team coordinated Crystal's rescue and release. They organize responses for all marine mammals and sea turtles that wash ashore in Virginia.
They ask that people don't attempt to approach sea life and instead call their hotline at 757-385-7575 if the animal appears injured, entangled, or otherwise in distress.