Photo: Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons

East End nonprofit marks a decade of turtle rescues

Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons is marking its 10-year anniversary. Over that time, the nonprofit has rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of turtles.

The turtles who have recovered from their injuries and released into the wild over the past decade were victims of car accidents, lawn mowers, construction, boating accidents and attacks by wildlife or pets.

Karen Testa, the executive director and president of Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons, said 95 percent of the injured turtles that come into the facility are released.

“We are so excited to mark our tenth anniversary,” Testa said. “We have seen a dramatic increase in public awareness about protecting turtles; so many people have supported us financially in our work. Turtles are the most endangered organisms in the world. They endure injuries from chemical poisonings, entrapments in window wells, crab trap drownings and entanglements in balloons and fishing gear carelessly discarded by people.”

Some of the injured turtles heal slowly and can be at the rescue facility for five years or more. The turtles that can’t be released remain living in the sanctuary, while the others go back to a safer location near where they were found.

Testa, who rehabilitates about 190 turtles each year, said she’s proud of her staff and supporters. 

“We work tirelessly to ensure all our turtles have the best chance of surviving and being released back into the wild,” she said.

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