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Mississippi Aquarium to release final rescued Kemp’s ridley sea turtle on Friday

Photo courtesy of Mississippi Aquarium

Mississippi Aquarium is set to release the final endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle of a group that was rescued nearly one year ago.

The release, which will take place on the beach in front of Edgewater Mall in Biloxi at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 15, will feature the last Kemp’s ridley included in the group of cold-stunned turtles rescued by New England Aquarium.

After being rescued, the turtles were flown to Mississippi in December 2022 to receive further rehabilitation.

Since their arrival, animal care, facilities, and veterinary teams have been working in concert to return these Kemp’s ridley turtles back to full health and into the wild. Previous releases of the group were held earlier in the year, with the most recent being on July 19.

“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, stated. “Common problems include pneumonia, bone infections, gastrointestinal disturbances, and frostbite. The last of the cold-stunned group of turtles required long-term care before it could be released.”

After Friday’s release, Mississippi Aquarium staff will have released 104 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles since opening in August of 2020. The public is invited to view the release.

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