Six sea turtles were released back into the wild on Saturday after spending a year in rehabilitation overcoming injuries. The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies saved one juvenile green turtle and five Kempf’s ridley sea turtles in 2012 during peak stranding season. The turtles spent a year in Gulfport, Mississippi and over the weekend locals, volunteers, and employees showed up to release the turtles back into the Gulf Coast. Rev. Louis Lohan even blessed the turtles before they returned to the wild.

One of the turtles, named Chipper, was treated for serious injuries and later was given a satellite transmitter. The transmitter will allow the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies to follow Chipper’s movements in the future, and for the rest of the young turtle’s 70 to 80 year lifespan. According to The Sun Herald, the Kempf’s ridley species is making a comeback after almost becoming extinct several years ago. The BP oil spill certainly hasn’t helped the species and scientists want to keep better tabs on the creature and what will help it grow more capably in the wild.

People are pretty aware of the plight of endangered sea turtles. Efforts have been made in the past, as well as this year, to keep people off of beaches during the nesting season in Florida. Other rehabilitation networks exist all across the world to help injured sea turtles in need. Efforts like these take time and effort, but are worth it to save a few species.

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