IMMS releases rehabilitated sea turtles back into the ocean
Earlier today, five rehabilitated Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles made their way back to the ocean after four months of being cared for at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport.
In December, IMMS took several sea turtles after they were stranded in Massachusetts due to a drop in local temperatures before they could migrate south, leaving the turtles cold-stunned.
Since then, the turtles have been receiving fluids, antibiotics, and daily care from IMMS staff as well as veterinary staff and student volunteers from Mississippi State’s college of veterinary medicine.
Finally, a handful of those turtles that were flown to the Coast for care and treatment are returning to their natural environment while an estimated 100 viewers cheered them on, including Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and his two grandsons. “Well we had heard a lot about the work of the IMMS down here and we were told these turtles were extremely rare and on the endangered list. I thought it was a great opportunity to bring my grandchildren down here to experience this and see how the work unfolds. And it was a tremendous occasion. Great turnout. Good crowd. And it really brings, I think, a lot of pride to us as Mississippians when we see that Mississippi is in the forefront of leading in these types of efforts. So it’s certainly something worth celebrating.”
IMMS still has 13 more sea turtles that are recovering from being cold-stunned and will be released at a later time.