Image: © Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute Return Sea Turtles to the Wild


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


May 15, 2023 5:25 pm


Audubon Nature Institute, Louisiana, The United States

Two Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles have returned to the Gulf of Mexico after being rehabilitated by the Audubon Nature Institute. The two turtles spent several months in care at the facility to recover from health issues which caused them to come in to care.

Audubon Nature Institute’s Coastal Wildlife Network conducted the release this week off the coast of Port Fourchon. Both individuals were found last year, cold stunned in Massachusetts. They underwent an initial treatment and stabilisation there before being moved to New Orleans for ongoing treatment and care.

Cold stunning occurs when a turtle is exposed cold temperatures which can cause hypothermia. Often this stops the turtle from swimming effectively making them more susceptible to boat strikes.

The Audubon team dubbed the two turtles, Lavender and Habanero while they were in care. Using their size care teams estimated the duo at two to five year old. This is the second release for the Audubon Nature Institute this year of sea turtles. A number of sea turtles remain in the care of the Audubon CWN.

Kemp's Ridley turtles are the most endangered species of sea turtle. They are affected by habitat loss, pollution, boat strikes and the effects of bycatch in commercial fishing operations.

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More on Turtles!

Thought to have shared the Earth with us for 200 million years turtles are an ancient species. Find out more about them in our fact file.

Our Favourite Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Fact File!

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle is the smallest of the sea turtle species which will measure just 2 foot long as an adult.

Image: © Audubon Nature Institute

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