GULFPORT, Miss. (WHLT) – According to the Mississippi Aquairum, seven endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles will be released into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, June 24. Aquarium staff will release the turtles near Ken Combs Pier at Courthouse Road and U.S. Highway 90 around 5:30 p.m.
The turtles were transported to the aquarium in December 2020 because they were cold-stunned. They needed veterinary care and rehabilitation after being stranded along the eastern coast of the United States.
“When we received the turtles, they had severe pneumonia,” Alexa Delaune, DVM Mississippi Aquarium Vice President of Veterinary Care said. “But now, these turtles are once again healthy, and we will release them back into the Mississippi Sound. The veterinary team is excited that the last seven Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are ready to be released from rehabilitation. It was an honor to take care of these endangered species over the last few months. Nursing them back to health has been incredibly rewarding. We watched them change from sick, skinny, dehydrated turtles on arrival to active and healthy turtles today. We are excited to share the release with our community and thank everyone for their support of our work.”
Although Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are the most endangered sea turtle globally, they are also the most common sea turtle found in Mississippi waters.