After months of getting treatments and a second chance at life, 16 endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were returned to the ocean near Canaveral National Seashore, Florida. SeaWorld Orlando rescue team has been caring for the turtles at SeaWorld Orlando’s critical care facility.
Last December, 15 sea turtles were found in frigid waters and rescued off the New England coast by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. The turtles were found suffering from cold stunning. Once rescued, they were stabilized at the New England Aquarium before being transferred to SeaWorld Orlando for more extensive treatments.
Once in Orlando, SeaWorld’s animal team thoroughly examined each turtle to further diagnose and determine a treatment plan for each turtle. After the examines were completed, it was found that many of the turtles were suffering from pneumonia, corneal ulcers, malnutrition, and other effects of cold stunning. Since being picked up three months ago, the turtle rehab consisted of antibiotics, fluids, and special diets, and they are now cleared to be returned to the wild.
Earlier this winter, a 16th Kemps ridley was rescued from the Atlantic Coast. After a few months of daily nebulizer treatments for pneumonia, the turtle was part of the return to the ocean yesterday.
Kemps ridley turtles happen to be the most endangered species of sea turtles. Habitat loss, human interference, and nest disruption have played a part in the turtle decline.
Since 1980, the SeaWorld Rescue team have rescued more than 2,000 sea turtles along with collaborating with government agencies and partner marine life facilities. Over the years, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has helped abandoned, orphaned, injured, and ill animals, with the end goal to release the animals back into the wild. To date, more than 33,000 animals have been rescued. The animal rescue team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While I know SeaWorld can be a touchy subject for some people, at the end of the day, it’s heartwarming to see the endangered sea turtles be returned to the ocean. Without the help of agencies and rescue teams, these animals wouldn’t get a second chance at life. If you ever see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 888-404-3992, or by dialing “FWC” on a cellular device.
Photo Source: SeaWorld Parks
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