Sea turtle arrives at SeaWorld San Diego after flight on Coast Guard aircraft

Solstice the sea turtle is at SeaWorld for rehab

Solstice, an endangered olive ridley sea turtle, arrived at SeaWorld San Diego on Tuesday after a trip on a Coast Guard aircraft from Oregon to Coronado.

The sea turtle was found near death Dec. 21 off the coast of Washington and taken to the Oregon Coast Aquarium for emergency care for her injuries and initial rehabilitation.

At SeaWorld, she will receive additional rehabilitation before being released in late summer or early fall when the ocean water is warmer.

Solstice was brought to North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado aboard a Coast Guard C-130, stationed in Sacramento, which was on a training flight from Newport, Ore. She was then taken by truck to SeaWorld.

When she was discovered on the Long Beach Peninsula in southwest Washington, she was comatose, dehydrated and 15 degrees below her normal body temperature.

Five other turtles were found dead in recent months along the coast of Washington and Oregon, victims of unusually cold currents, according to specialists at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

As a female of reproductive years, the return of Solstice to the ocean is important to the survival of the species, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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