Mississippi Aquarium will be celebrating the release of its 100th Kemp’s ridley sea turtle on Thursday afternoon when over a dozen endangered turtles are placed back into the Mississippi Sound.
Team members with the aquarium will be marking the milestone release while 13 total sea turtles are guided into the ocean at the beach in front of Edgewater Mall in Biloxi.
According to the aquarium, 12 of the turtles are the third wave to be released from a group that was cold-stunned prior to being flown to the Magnolia State in December 2022.
Since the turtle’s arrival, animal care, facilities, and veterinary teams have been working in concert to return these Kemp’s ridley turtles to full health and into the wild.
The additional Kemp’s ridley being released, nicknamed Mist, had been undergoing treatment at Mississippi Aquarium since October 2021.
Mist contracted Mycobacterium chelonae, which is a common pathogen found in aquatic animals after being cold-stunned, in December 2020.
“Cold stunning in sea turtles happens when the water rapidly drops in temperature. The turtles then become debilitated and stranded,” Dr. Alexa Delaune, vice president of veterinary services and research at Mississippi Aquarium, said. “Common problems include pneumonia, bone infections, gastrointestinal disturbances, and frostbite. Mist’s infection was severe and required long-term and intensive treatment.”
After Thursday’s release, Mississippi Aquarium staff will have released 102 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles since opening in August 2020. The public is invited to view the release, which begins at 4:00 p.m.
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