Turtles Swim Free for Independence Day

KOHALA COAST, Hawaii (KHNL) - In celebration of Independence Day, seven juvenile green sea turtles got their first taste of freedom Wednesday.

One by one, the turtles were released into the ocean at the annual Sea Turtle Independence Day at the Mauna Lani Resort along the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

The hotel has been raising the turtles in salt water ponds since they were babies.

Hundreds of resort guests and community residents packed the shoreline to watch as the turtles flipped their way into the water to begin new lives of freedom.

The lucky seven were chosen to be released because of their weight and size.  Some of them just couldn't wait to be free.

The green sea turtles are protected under the endangered species act and are considered threatened.