On February 11th, the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team returned 10 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles and one juvenile loggerhead sea turtle to the Florida waters at Canaveral National Seashore.
Ten of the sea turtles were among the 72 Kemp’s Ridleys that were rescued in November 2014 during a mass cold stranding off of the Massachusetts coast. They were transferred to SeaWorld Orlando from the New England Aquarium by the U.S. Coast Guard.
When the Kemp’s first arrived in late November, they received full veterinary exams and vitamin treatments. Blood work and radiographs were performed to diagnose any further issues. The majority of the turtles suffered from pneumonia and were treated with antibiotics and fluid therapy.
Ranging from 2 to 5 pounds at the time of rescue, the sea turtles have been eating well and have gained weight since their arrival. The goal is to provide a stable environment for the sea turtles to regain their strength, and ultimately be returned as soon as possible. Upon return, the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles weights ranged from 4 to 6.5 pounds.
The other sea turtle returned was a juvenile loggerhead that was rescued September 2014 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) from Port Canaveral after being found floating at the water’s surface.
When the juvenile loggerhead arrived, it was buoyant, unable to submerge underwater. It was also underweight, had a small injury on its head as well as barnacles on its soft tissue. Throughout its rehabilitation, the sea turtle received antibiotics, fluid therapy, and medication to help alleviate air buildup in the carapace (shell). Since arriving at SeaWorld for rehabilitation, this sea turtle gained nearly 10 pounds, doubling its rescue weight. Upon return, the juvenile loggerhead weighed just under 20 pounds.
For more than 50 years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need — ill, injured and orphaned. More than 24,000 animals have been rescued by our experts. Our animal rescue team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So far this year SeaWorld Orlando has rescued nine sea turtles and returned 13 back to the ocean.
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