Big turtle release coming Saturday on Jekyll Island

About 15 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles rescued late last year are scheduled for release on Jekyll Island this weekend.

The turtles are being transferred from the New England Aquarium to the warmer waters of Jekyll Island for release back into the wild.

Last year, more than 1,000 turtles shocked by the cold and stranded on the beaches of Cape Cod were taken to marine labs and rehabilitation centers around the country in what may have been the largest airlift and collaborative effort ever to save the endangered animals.

Saturday’s release, during Jekyll Island’s Nest Fest celebration, will be the largest single release of turtles on Jekyll Island, according to a release. A green sea turtle named White Fang that was rehabilitated at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will also be released.

The release is scheduled for 6 p.m. on the beachfront near the Westin Jekyll Island.

The Kemp’s ridley turtle is the world’s most endangered sea turtle. Their perilous situation is due mainly to the overharvesting of their eggs over the years.