Turtle update: Last seven rescued sea turtles will be released on Thursday

Seven more Kemp's ridley sea turtles will be released into the wild on Thursday.
Seven more Kemp's ridley sea turtles will be released into the wild on Thursday.(Photo Source: WLOX)
Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 4:02 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Out of the tank and into the ocean.

The last seven rescued Kemp’s ridley sea turtles will be released from the Mississippi Aquarium into the Gulf on Thursday. The public is welcome to wish the turtles a “bon voyage” as they start their new journey.

“We are excited to share the release with our community and thank everyone for their support of our work,” said Dr. Alexa Delaune, Mississippi Aquarium vice president of veterinary care.

Back in December, a group of about 45 turtles were found stranded and in need of veterinary care along the eastern coastline. They were initially rescued by the New England Aquarium and Marine Life Center, then transported to Gulfport by Turtles Fly Too, a conservation group based in Boise, Idaho.

“When we received the turtles, they had severe pneumonia, but now, these turtles are once again healthy, and we will release them back into the Mississippi Sound,” Delaune said.

Since then, many of the turtles were released back into the wild.

This bale of turtles is the last of the original group to be released.

“The veterinary team is excited that the last seven Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are ready to be released from rehabilitation,” Delaune said. “It was an honor to take care of these endangered species over the last few months. We watched them change from sick, skinny, dehydrated turtles on arrival to active and healthy turtles today.”

According to the aquarium, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are the most endangered sea turtle in the world, but they are also the most common sea turtle found in Mississippi waters.

Aquarium staff will release the turtles near Ken Combs Pier at Courthouse Road and Highway 90 at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24.

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