IMMS investigating turtle death while nursing another back to health

IMMS investigating turtle death while nursing another back to health
Officials said the turtle appeared to be dead, but the team was able to revive her. (Photo source: IMMS)
Officials said the turtle appeared to be dead, but the team was able to revive her. (Photo source: IMMS)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is investigating the death of a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle that washed ashore in Gulfport. Meanwhile, another turtle found Monday, and thought to be dead, is undergoing treatment and may be saved.

A team from the IMMS responded late Monday morning to the beachfront just east of the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor. That's where a couple walking on the beach discovered the dead turtle.

A research assistant took measurements of the young turtle and recorded other information about the animal. Victoria Howard said IMMS has responded to a large number of turtle strandings this year.

"We've had both live and dead strandings," Howard explained. "The majority of live are caught by hook and line by recreational fishermen. And then also dead strandings washing up. We've had around 140 dead turtles and almost 300 live turtles."

Scientists at the IMMS will perform a necropsy on the turtle to try and determine its cause of death.

Now, while that turtle could not be saved, crews with IMMS were able to rescue another. A giant loggerhead sea turtle was also found Monday partially buried in the sand in Gulfport. Officials said the turtle appeared to be dead, but the team was able to revive her.

The 120 pound turtle is undergoing treatment at IMMS. Monday evening, she was in critical, but guarded condition.

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