Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle #19-4144

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle #19-4144
Oct 04 2019

Kemp's ridley sea turtles, a critically endangered species, are one of the smallest of the seven sea turtle species. Southwest Florida's shallow bays and inland coastal waters provide a perfect habitat for young Kemp's ridley turtles on the hunt for crabs, their favorite food. 

This juvenile turtle was rescued by an eco-tour boat when it was seen floating and acting lethargic near the mouth of Isle of Capri Pass in Marco, Florida. 

Status Updates

Intake Exam - Oct 04 2019 4:35 pm

Veterinarians gave the turtle a full exam which included taking radiographs and bloodwork. Radiographs did not show anything evident that would have caused the turtle to float and bloodwork came back within normal limits. Veterinarians believe the turtle may have been suffering from GI upset or from a minor toxicity from brevetoxin, also known as red tide.


Dry-docked - Oct 05 2019 8:12 am

The turtle was "dry-docked" overnight, meaning it was kept in a tub with damp towels. Turtles are typically dry-docked for the first 24 hours and reassessed before being placed in a shallow tank. This allows time for veterinarians to make a full assessment based on their diagnostics.


Placed in shallow tank - Oct 05 2019 4:35 pm

This afternoon, the turtle was placed in a shallow tank so that veterinarians could assess its ability to swim. The water is kept shallow so that the turtle is able to lift its head out of the water to breathe.


Dry-docked overnight - Oct 06 2019 8:03 am

The turtle was brought inside overnight and dry-docked again due to its extremely high-stress in the outdoor tank. The rehabilitation team feared it may injure itself in the tank if left overnight.


Cleared for Release - Oct 07 2019 3:23 pm

The turtle was assessed by veterinary staff today and was found to be swimming very well and submerging appropriately. The team cleared the turtle to be released back to the Gulf.


Released - Oct 08 2019 4:47 pm

After receiving confirmation and approval for release from state authorities, the turtle was returned to the Marco Island area and released back into the water. Prior to its release, CROW staff tagged the turtle using flipper tags and a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag.