SeaWorld Press release. No time to rest for the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team. The team, who is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is now caring for 72 cold-stunned Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that arrived earlier this afternoon from Massachusetts.
An overwhelming amount of sea turtles stranded themselves up and down the eastern coast due to last week’s severe cold weather. The juvenile sea turtles were originally rescued by the New England Aquarium and volunteers of the Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary at Wellfleet Bay. The sea turtles were transported to Quincy, Mass., where they were re-warmed and stabilized by the New England Aquarium at their marine animal hospital until they were ready for transport.
Our animal care team, along with several other agencies, met the Coast Guard at the Orlando Executive Airport, who flew 193 critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles from Massachusetts to Orlando. The turtles are now on their way to SeaWorld Orlando, and other facilities, for further care.
Sea turtle experts at SeaWorld will spend much of the night conducting full health examinations on each turtle to determine their health status. The goal is to provide a stable environment for the sea turtles to regain their strength and ultimately be returned as soon as possible.
Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle are extremely rare and have been listed as an endangered species since 1970. A large decline in population of these turtles has been linked to egg harvesting in the 1960s and, more recently, oil spills along the Gulf of Mexico. Along with being one of the rarest sea turtles in the world, the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle is also the smallest marine turtle. An adult usually weighs about 100 lbs. and measures 26-30 inches long.
For more than 50 years, SeaWorld has helped animals in need – ill, injured and orphaned. More than 24,000 animals have been rescued by our experts.
If you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 1(888) 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.
All turtle rescue footage produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911.