National

Jul 26, 2010 11:06 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Biologists to release baby turtles in Gulf

Biologists are making a bet on the annual release of thousands of endangered baby sea turtles. They're being released into the western Gulf of Mexico in hopes the oil-fouled waters of the eastern Gulf will be cleaned up by the time the turtles arrive.

The plan's supporters say the risks of holding turtles in captivity at a critical stage in their life cycles could be worse than the dangers of oil more than 400 miles away.

Critics argue the decision doesn't adequately account for hurricanes, storms or a seasonal change in current, all of which could bring the oil west and directly into their path.

For years, scientists have incubated and hatched the Kemp's ridley turtles to give the endangered creatures a boost.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service are going ahead with this year's release.

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