First Sea Turtle From Oil Spill Rescued and Cleaned

Posted on May 20, 2010

Rescued Baby Sea Turtle

An oiled baby Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is being cared for at Audubon Aquarium's Aquatics Center in New Orleans. The oil was rescued from oily waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana on May 18th. The turtle is the first rescued sea turtle reported to be affected by the oil and was discovered about 33 nautical miles offshore. The turtle was transported by a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries vessel to the United States Fish and Wildlife Services headquarters in Venice, LA. The turtle was then taken to the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program in New Orleans, coordinated by Audubon Aquarium of the Americas under the direction of Michele Kelley.

The baby Kemp's Ridley was examined by Audubon Nature Institute veterinarians and oil and blood samples were taken. The turtle then received a "spa treatment" at the wash station with Dawn soap and a toothbrush.

The Audubon Aquarium says the he Kemp's Ridley is the number one most critically endangered sea turtle. They live in sheltered areas along the coast and are considered the smallest sea turtles, usually weighing between 80 and 100 pounds when fully matured.

You can see more photos of the rescued turtle here.

Photo: Audubon Nature Institute

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