Early this morning, SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team members returned a juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle to the Florida waters at Canaveral National Seashore following more than a year of extensive treatment and rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando.
The sea turtle was the final one to be returned of 24 that were originally brought to SeaWorld Orlando in December 2012 after being rescued from cold stress by the U.S. Coast Guard just off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. As a result of the cold stress, the sea turtle developed severe pneumonia and suffered from tissue wounds on his neck and flippers.
Upon arrival at SeaWorld Orlando, the sea turtle underwent extensive treatment, including laser debridement for tissue wounds and a bronchoscopy to examine the lungs. After being medically cleared for today’s return, the park’s Animal Rescue Team transported the juvenile sea turtle to Canaveral National Seashore, along Florida’s east coast, where the sea turtle was successfully returned to the ocean.
In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the waters. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 23,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than four decades. Since 1980, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued more than 1,700 turtles and returned more than 1,100.