The cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley turtles were flown down from New England
CLEARWATER, FL (Dec. 6, 2023) – In a collaborative effort to save the lives of 16 critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) welcomed the arrival of these cold-stunned reptiles on Tuesday, Dec 5. Transported from the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) facility in Quincy, MA, the turtles were severely impacted by the frigid waters of New England, experiencing a condition known as ‘cold-stun.’
A total of 52 cold-stunned sea turtles were flown via private jet to Tampa. CMA, along with three other rehabilitation facilities in Florida, including Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida Aquarium and Loggerhead Marine Life Center, will provide the necessary care and support for their recovery.
Sea turtles, being cold-blooded reptiles, adapt to the temperature of their surroundings. When exposed to prolonged periods of icy water temperatures, their circulatory systems slow down, rendering them unable to swim or function properly. Over the past month, hundreds of sea turtles have been rescued along the East Coast of New England.
“This is a regular occurrence each winter and we’ve participated in the continued care of these turtles since 2016,” said Dr. Shelly Marquardt, veterinarian for CMA. “We know that their time in rehabilitation here makes a difference for the future of this endangered species, and we are proud to be able to contribute to their conservation efforts,” she said.
CMA invites guests to visit these rescued sea turtles, offering a unique opportunity to witness their rehabilitation journey firsthand. By supporting the rehab efforts, individuals can contribute to the ultimate goal of rehabilitating and releasing these sea turtles back into their natural habitat
For more information on how to assist in the recovery efforts of these endangered sea turtles, please visit www.cmaquarium.org.
Media Contact: Marsha Strickhouser | mstrickhouser@CMAquarium.org | (727) 242-0770
- About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working marine rescue center dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. With a mission to preserve the environment and its marine life, CMA is home to rescued dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, a nurse shark and more. Through Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, CMA conducts important global research focused on protecting manatees, North Atlantic right whales and sea turtles. Major motion picture Dolphin Tale (2011) and its sequel Dolphin Tale 2 (2014) features the true stories of rescued resident dolphins Winter and Hope, inspiring millions around the world. The mission and potential to change people’s lives differentiates Clearwater Marine Aquarium from any other aquarium in the world.
We believe in preserving our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; environmental education; research; and conservation.
A Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization