On December 1, 2009, the New England Aquarium, a stranding partner of the National Aquarium, responded to an unresponsive stranded Kemp's ridley sea turtle in Brewster, Massachusetts.
The turtle was initially transported to the New England Aquarium, where it underwent triage and treatment for cold-stunning, the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia.
On December 14, several Kemp's ridley turtles were transported to the National Aquarium for long-term rehab.
During the six-month rehabilitation, the turtle, later named "Marshall," underwent treatment for pneumonia, a bacterial infection, and several lacerations and abrasions associated with the cold-stunning.
Marshall enjoyed a diet of capelin, shrimp, squid, and mussels while in rehab, and nearly doubled in body weight.
Marshall was the largest of the four Kemp's ridley turtles in rehabilitation at the Aquarium during this time, and shared a pool with two slightly smaller "poolmates."
Marshall was released at Maryland's Point Lookout State Park on June 19, 2010, along with two other rehabilitated Kemp's ridley sea turtles.
Kemp's ridley sea turtles commonly hang around the Chesapeake Bay during the warm summer months to feed on an assortment of jellies and invertebrates. Kemp's ridley sea turtles had already been spotted in the Chesapeake Bay for several weeks, so this was a perfect time and location to release the turtles.
Prior to release, Marshall was outfitted with a small satellite transmitter that allowed us to track the turtle.
The transmitter allows us to track and monitor the animal post-release, and helps scientists to understand the migration and feeding patterns of these animals. Learn more about the importance of animal tracking.
From June 19 to August 2, when we received the last satellite transmission, Marshall traveled more than 232 miles!
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