In this Nov. 23, 2018, file photo, Ben Thyng does an exam of a newly arrived living Kemp's ridley turtle to the ICU at the Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, as cold stunned turtles are brought in off area beaches after several days of below freezing weather. Credit: Steve Heaslip | The Cape Cod Times via AP

QUINCY, Massachusetts — The New England Aquarium has released 17 sea turtles that were stranded on Cape Cod back into the wild in Georgia.

The aquarium said Tuesday the animals spent four to five months at its Animal Care Center in Quincy prior to release. Volunteer pilots with a group called Turtles Fly Too flew the animals out of the Marshfield Airport on Saturday, the aquarium said.

The turtles needed to be treated for life-threatening conditions resulting from hypothermia and inability to feed, the aquarium said. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island cleared them for release after a brief exam by its head veterinarian and staff, it said.

Turtle strandings happen in New England when waters quickly turn cold in the fall.