Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (#18-2539)

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (#18-2539)
Jun 28 2018Jul 16 2018

Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are one of the most critically endangered species of sea turtle. They are also one of the smallest species.

This juvenile turtle was admitted from Boca Grande after it was found near the cause way acting very lethargic. The turtle was rescued and transported to CROW by the Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association.

Status Updates

Intake Exam - Jun 28 2018 2:00 pm

On presentation, the turtle was quiet but alert, with neurologic deficits (weakened ability to move flippers, delayed reflexes), and had superficial corneal ulcers in both eyes. Initial bloodwork revealed a mild anemia. Veterinarians are suspecting brevetoxicosis, and the turtle received IV medications upon admission. Topical antibiotics are being used to treat the corneal ulcers. Bloodwork and neurologic exams will be repeated daily to track its progress and adjust treatment accordingly.


Moved to Tank - Jun 29 2018 2:30 pm

The turtle spent its first 24 hours at the clinic "dry docked" while it received treatment for brevetoxicosis and antibiotics for corneal ulcers. The turtle was moved to a shallow freshwater tank today and will be transitioned to saltwater in the next few days. The tank will be made deeper as the turtle's neurological signs improve.


Ulcers Resolved, Activity Increased - Jul 02 2018 4:38 pm

Over the weekend, the turtle's ulcers in the eyes have resolved. It has become more active and alert in the tank, but its appetite has yet to return. Staff are hopeful some live crabs will help get it eating again.


One Fish, Two Fish - Jul 09 2018 12:27 pm

It was reported over the weekend that the young Kemp's ate two fish on its own during one of its feedings. The turtle remains very bright and alert in the tank.


Eating Great! - Jul 11 2018 8:57 am

Our wildlife rehabilitators report that the turtle is now eating great on its own. It is being fed fish and squid along with small live crabs.


Cleared for Release - Jul 12 2018 3:45 pm

The juvenile Kemp's turtle has been cleared for release by veterinarians. It was tagged with two front flipper tags and a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag this afternoon in accordance with state regulations.


Released! - Jul 16 2018 9:30 am

The juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle was released this morning at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. It was released along with another juvenile Kemp's ridley turtle which had also received care at CROW over the past couple weeks for a boat strike injury.