Mar 11

SeaWorld Team Returns 13 Turtles Back to their Natural Environment

It was just yesterday that I had the privilege to share with you all that our dedicated SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team returned two manatees back to the wild. This morning, our Animal Rescue Team was back in the field to return a total of 13 sea turtles to the warm Florida waters. Twelve of those turtles were from the 72 Kemp's ridley sea turtles our team rescued last November (read more about it here), and one was a loggerhead that was rescued back in October.

The Kemp's ridley sea turtles that were returned today were part of the second wave of returns from the 72 rescued. (Click here to read about the first wave). These sea turtles ranged from 3.8 to 8 pounds when they first arrived and they were returned weighing between 5 to 11 pounds. Many suffered from pneumonia and were treated with antibiotics and fluid therapy. This provided them with the proper nutrition to regain their strength and be returned back to the ocean.

The loggerhead turtle was rescued near the St. Lucie Power Plant in Hutchison Island, Fla. The turtle was underweight, covered in barnacles and suffered from debilitated loggerhead syndrome, which is an end stage disease that can be caused by a wide spectrum of conditions.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission transferred the turtle to SeaWorld Orlando for immediate care. The turtle received a full health exam, blood work and antibiotics. It also received medication to help alleviate a slight impaction of shell hash within its digestive tract. Thanks to the nutritional support that the turtle received from the SeaWorld team, the turtle gained more than 10 pounds, continued to eat well, was treated for parasites and ultimately returned back home to the ocean.

So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 19 sea turtles and returned 26 to the ocean. To stay up to date with animal rescues and learn about SeaWorld's conservation efforts, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.

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*Note: Ever wondered what it's like to be part of the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team? Click here for a first-hand look at what it's like to participate in a sea turtle return.