This Kemp's ridley sea turtle was found stranded in Wellfleet, MA, on November 12, 2010, and was transported to the New England Aquarium and treated for cold-stunning, the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia.
Kemp's are the most endangered and the smallest of all the sea turtle species, which makes them particularly vulnerable to severe changes in water temperature.
After the turtle was stabilized, it was transported to the National Aquarium on December 2 with several other cold-stunned turtles for long-term rehabilitation.
Oceana underwent treatment for several lacerations and abrasions associated with the cold-stunning. Oceana was particularly active with ice cubes when they were offered as enrichment—often gobbling them up faster than the other turtles.
Oceana was released at Maryland's Point Lookout State Park on August 12, 2011, along with three other rehabilitated Kemp's ridley sea turtles.
Because Kemp's ridley sea turtles commonly inhabit the Chesapeake Bay during the warm summer months to feed on an assortment of jellies and invertebrates, Aquarium officials felt this was the best time and location to release the turtles.
The turtles are expected to stay in the mid-Atlantic region or head north for the summer, before eventually heading south again in the fall.
Prior to release, Oceana was outfitted with a small satellite transmitter that allows us to track the location and speed of the turtle. The satellite tag was donated by our friends at Oceana, hence the turtle's name.
These tags help researchers learn more about sea turtle migration and travel patterns. The information will be gathered until the adhesive fails and the tag falls off. Learn more about the importance of animal tracking here.
From August 12 to November 10, when we received the last satellite transmission, Oceana traveled more than 400 miles!
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