Ike May Have Washed Rescued Sea Turtle Ashore

An endangered sea turtle that apparently was washed miles inshore by Hurricane Ike and spent months trapped in a pit in Vermilion Parish is being released back into the Gulf of Mexico.

The 90-pound female Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle was found in Jan. 29 in a "borrow pit" in salt marsh in south Vermilion Parish, near the Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge.

She was caught March 11 by a crew from the Audubon Institute and the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Biologists believe she may have been washed ashore by Hurricane Ike on Sept. 13, 2008.

She was satellite tagged Tuesday, and was to be released Wednesday off of Grand Isle.

The tag means scientists and anyone else who is interested can follow the turtle's travels on the seaturtle.org Web site.

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