Obama 'Pardons' Sea Turtles

President, daughters, friends release four of them in Hawaii
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2011 8:10 AM CST
President Barack Obama holding hands with his daughters Malia, left, and Sasha, right, leave Sea Life Park, a marine wildlife park, with family friends, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, in Waimanalo, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Apparently it’s not just turkeys that are eligible for a presidential pardon—sea turtles are, too. President Obama "pardoned" four of them yesterday during a visit to Hawaii’s Sea Life Park, releasing the 18-month-old turtles into Hanauma Bay. The president was accompanied by his daughters and a group of friends, USA Today reports.

According to the pool report, the turtles bear "distinctive markings" as well as microchips so they can be easily scanned and identified if they surface on the beach. During the photo op, Obama didn't acknowledge a question about Yemen’s president, saying only, "OK, guys, good to see you. Hope you're having fun." Click to see how much this vacation cost. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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