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Kemp’s ridley sea turtles released off coast of Pass Christian

Photo courtesy of IMMS

On Wednesday, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies of Gulfport and representatives from the Mississippi State University veterinarian program helped release four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico.

The endangered sea turtles, which were released off the coast of Pass Christian, were originally found ill with pneumonia in Massachusetts where they were placed under recovery and shipped to several different facilities such as IMMS for long-term rehabilitation care.

“All four sea turtles came from Massachusetts in December of 2022, and this was as a massive event they have every single year transferring sea turtles down south,” IMMS stranding coordinator Theresa Madrigal explained. “Whenever we are planning for a release, we coordinate and speak with federal and state partners like the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to see if the locations we choose are safe in water quality for the animals.”

Madrigal expressed appreciation for the partnership between IMMS and MSU as well as the on-site veterinarians who help in preparing for the release. Pass Christian Mayor Jimmy Rafferty was also present for the release and thanked all in attendance.

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