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An abundance of turtles

More than 1,300 baby sea turtles -- the majority from Volusia County -- have washed ashore, leaving the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet overrun with hatchlings that need to be rehabilitated.

Michelle Bauer, sea turtle rehab specialist at the center, said the last time this many hatchlings came ashore was during Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

The hatchlings, mostly green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles, were brought back ashore by a tropical storm system and started appearing about a week ago. Most washed up, exhausted, on the beach amid lines of seaweed.

The turtles will be returned to the ocean--about 20 to 40 miles off shore--once the seas calm down.

Photo: Roberto Gonzalez, Orlando Sentinel

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