Rescued turtles released back to the Gulf of Mexico

By Dania Vargas Austryjak

21 Kemp's Ridley turtlesback at home.

Last year more than 1,200 Kemp’s Ridley turtles were stranded by cold weather in Massachusetts during the months of November and December, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Only 27 were rescued and 21 of them have been successfully released back into their home in the Gulf of Mexico.

Given the weather conditions, the temperature drop in their habitat, caused the turtles to get “cold-stunned” becoming lethargic, and almost without life, being washed out onto the shores of Massachusetts, place where they were rescued and sent to a rehabilitation facility in New Orleans.

Kemp Ridley turtles mexico

Stranding-and-rescue coordinator for the Audubon Nature Institute for Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles, Suzanne Smith, said that 21 of the turtles where successfully released in a warm and cloudless day, unfortunately one of the 27 didn’t survive and 5 of them are still in recovery.

The Kemp’s Ridley turtle is a critically endangered species that inhabits the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but sometimes they reach up to New Jersey and the females nest in the beaches of Tamaulipas, Mexico, but their numbers have decreased dramatically.

Nowadays Mexican and USA private and government institutions are working towards saving and preserving this rare species, considered the smallest marine turtle in the world.

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