GULFPORT, Miss. (WHLT) – Mississippi Aquarium is set to release three endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 3. The Aquarium staff will release the turtles near Ken Combs Pier at Courthouse Road and U.S. Highway 90.
According to the Mississippi Aquarium, several cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were transported in December to the Aquarium by Turtles Fly Too, a conservation group based in Boise, Idaho. The endangered turtles needed veterinary care and rehabilitation after being stranded along the eastern coast of the United States.
The turtles, initially rescued by New England Aquarium and Marine life Center, needed time and medical attention, but the northeast facilities were at capacity.
The Aquarium recently released 10 Kemp’s ridley turtles back into the Gulf of Mexico.
“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. We have 11 more Kemp’s ridley turtles that we will eventually release, as well.”
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. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles face many threats to their survival, including bycatch, ocean pollution and habitat loss.