Last week, the SeaWorld Orlando rescue team released 16 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in the waters near Canaveral National Seashore. Fifteen of the turtles had been held for rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando’s critical care facility after being rescued by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in cold waters off the New England coast.
“Upon arrival in Orlando, SeaWorld’s animal care team conducted full examinations to determine the best treatment for each turtle. Many of the animals were suffering from pneumonia; some were also treated for corneal ulcers, malnutrition and other effects of cold stunning. After three months of individualized care consisting of antibiotics, fluids and special diets, the turtles were cleared for return to the ocean,” SeaWorld noted. “The 16th turtle, also a Kemp’s ridley, was rescued earlier this winter from the Atlantic Coast. After months of treatment including a daily nebulizer treatment to treat pneumonia, the turtle was part of yesterday’s ocean return.”
SeaWorld stressed how rare these turtles are.
“Kemp’s ridleys are the most endangered species of sea turtles. Human interference, nest disruption and habitat loss are just some of the reasons for the population decline,” SeaWorld noted. “In collaboration with government agencies and partner marine life facilities, more than 2,000 sea turtles have been rescued by the SeaWorld Rescue team since 1980. For more than 50 years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. More than 33,000 animals have been rescued by the expert animal rescue team that is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”