National Aquarium Releases "Raven" the Loggerhead Sea Turtle into the Wild

If you’ve visited the National Aquarium in the past year, you may have spotted Raven, a young loggerhead sea turtle, in the Aquarium’s Maryland: Mountains to the Sea habitat.

But as of this week, Raven has left her temporary home in Baltimore and returned to the water.

Raven was part of the Loggerhead Head Start Program, run by the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll shores. It allows aquariums across the country to “host a hatchling,” to grow before it is re-released to the ocean. Because the loggerhead is an endangered species, that extra year of growth gives the hatchlings a fighting chance in the wild.

Raven arrived at the National Aquarium in Baltimore last October, weighing0.2 pounds and measuring about 3.5 inches long. Now, she is a healthy, dinner-plate-sized 5.8 pounds and 10.6 inches long!

She and 26 other turtles were released 10 miles offshore at the Morehead City waterfront in North Carolina.

Here’s video from the Aquarium of Raven’s time in the exhibit, and then her release:

The National Aquarium now looks forward to a new group of hatchlings, in hopes of hosting another turtle for the coming year.

-Meg Walburn Viviano