An olive ridley sea turtle was airlifted to SeaWorld San Diego on Friday to continue rehabilitation after her rescue last October.
The endangered sea turtle, named Coral, was previously housed in the Seattle Aquarium since her discovery on a beach near Salishan, Oregon. She weighs about 75 pounds and is believed to be 18 to 25 years old.
The U.S. Coast Guard flew Coral on a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft that arrived at Naval Air Station North Island Friday afternoon. From there, the SeaWorld Rescue Team brought Coral to their Animal Health and Rescue Center.
“It is bittersweet to send her down here to San Diego," Amy Olsen, a lab specialist at the Seattle Aquarium, said. "It’s like sending a kid off to college. 'Okay, go off into the world! Good luck!'”
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When she was found last fall, she was suffering from hypothermia and bacterial infections and entered the Oregon facility in critical condition.
Olive ridley sea turtles typically stay in warmer waters south of Southern California, but can reach temperate regions as far north as Washington coasts.
Coral has been recovering over the past few months and is ready for treatment at SeaWorld San Diego. Both facilities believe Coral will be healthy enough to return to ocean life in the late summer or early fall.