VIDEO: SeaWorld Orlando Returns Final Rescued Sea Turtles From 2014 Mass Cold Stranding
By Space Coast Daily // January 1, 2016
ABOVE VIDEO: Recently, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned three Kemp’s ridley sea turtles – the world’s most endangered species of sea turtle – to the warm Florida waters by Canaveral National Seashore. (SeaWorld Video)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Recently, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned three Kemp’s ridley sea turtles – the world’s most endangered species of sea turtle – to the warm Florida waters by Canaveral National Seashore.
The sea turtles spent more than 13 months at SeaWorld Orlando’s rehabilitation facility after being rescued from the frigid New England winter in November 2014.
The three Kemp’s ridley sea turtles returned today were the last remaining of the 72 sea turtles rescued during a mass cold stranding off the Massachusetts coast. They were transferred to SeaWorld Orlando from the New England Aquarium by the U.S. Coast Guard for rehabilitation and expert care.
Ranging from 4.1 to 4.6 pounds at the time of rescue, the turtles have been thriving during their rehabilitation, gaining significant strength and weight. Upon their return today, the three turtles’ weights ranged from 9 to 15.8 pounds.
The SeaWorld team worked with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on the return location for these Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, which are found near the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast.
The same species and size class are found along the Florida coast at this time of year.
Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are the most endangered species of sea turtle in the world, mainly due to egg collection and other human activities. Today, under strict protection and the help of organizations like SeaWorld, the population is on its way to recovery.
Throughout 2015, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 64 sea turtles and returned 91 to the ocean. This year marks a record year of rescues, rehabilitations and returns for the Orlando Animal Rescue Team, with more than 600 animals rescued and rehabilitated.
2015 YEAR-END REVIEW: Breakdown of Rescues for Specific Species
· Turtle rescues (including sea turtles, tortoises and freshwater turtles) – 91
· Bird rescues – 529
· Manatee rescues – 33
· Cetaceans – 1
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 27,000 animals have been rescued by the expert animal rescue team that is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you see an injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 888-404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.
All turtle return footage produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911 and FWC Permit Number MTP-15-035.
To learn more about SeaWorld’s commitment to animals and the environment, visit SeaWorldCares.com.