Pressing Need: Caring for Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles | South Carolina Aquarium

Pressing Need: Caring for Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles

Jul 17

Pressing Need: Caring for Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles

While our doors were closed to guests earlier this year, our team still welcomed turtles in need. Caring for the patients of the Sea Turtle Care Center™ remained a top priority, despite the pandemic underway beyond our walls. Since May, the Care Center admitted 19 new patients (and counting). Among these different species of patients, Kemp’s ridley have been the most prevalent. Sadly, they are also the most endangered sea turtle species in the world. Their biggest threats include incidental capture in fishing gear such as trawls, hook-and-line, fishing nets and dredging.

Learn more about all of the traits that make the Kemp’s ridley unique:

Elliot the Kemp’s ridley was hooked by a fisher off Cherry Grove Pier on Wednesday, May 6. Care Center staff removed the hook and provided Elliot with fluids, antibiotics and vitamins. Since then he has continued to improve.

Jasper the Kemp’s ridley was hooked by a fisher on the Garden City Pier, and arrived at the Care Center on May 24. The hook was removed from his esophagus, and it was determined that besides the hook, Jasper was pretty healthy. He continues to receive antibiotic injections to ward off any potential infections, and he is on a path to recovery.

These are just two examples of the incredibly resilient turtles that we have treated in our Care Center. It costs about $50 a day to care for just one sea turtle. Donations enable us to provide these turtles with the highest quality of care, each and every day. Thanks to our generous circle of supporters, turtles like Elliot and Jasper are able to heal and move one step closer to completing their journey home.

In times like these, every dollar makes a difference. The tireless work of our veterinary team to preserve this sentinel species is threatened due to limited financial resources in this challenging time. We ask that you please donate now to our Emergency Relief Fund to ensure that we are able to continue our work to treat these special creatures. Your gift will help us support Care Center operations and the rehabilitation of turtles like Elliot and Jasper.

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