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Turtles Fly Too offers unique educational experience at Boise high school

Posted: 5:03 PM, May 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-09 23:03:20Z

A non-profit called Turtles Fly Too has a mission to save sea turtles, many of which are threatened or endangered on the brink of extinction.

Leslie Weinstein started the organization in 2014 when NOAA asked for help in relocating sea turtles who were stuck in cold weather in New England, Weinstein with the help of General Aviation who donated pilots, planes and time moved the turtles to a safe location.

Weinstein grew up in Florida saving as many turtles as he could, it turned into his life and now that he's moved to Boise he is setting up the second phase to Turtles Fly Too and it revolves around education.

"You have to understand that these are endangered species, you are not allowed to touch them, handle them or have them in your possession," said Weinstein. "It's a unique educational program because we do necropsy."

A group of Timberline High School students got to see local veterinarian Rick Shackleford dissect a Kemp's Ridley Turtle who died in the cold, it's the smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle in the world.

Students learned about the anatomy and signs to look for to realize why this animal died in an effort to prevent more turtles from dying.

In Boise, nowhere near the ocean students were interested in marine biology and a way to make the world a better place in the future.

"I just think it is super cool that we get to be in the presence of an endangered species and learn more about it," said Ilah Thompson who wants to grow up to be a marine biologist. "I'm super excited to be one of the people that can help."

Here is a link to Turtles Fly Too which has more information, Weinstein said the organization runs off of donations.