Miami, Dec. 12 Eight sea turtles, the world’s most endangered species, are being treated at a sea turtle hospital at Zoo Miami, after they became incapacitated due to the cold in Massachusetts (northeast USA).
The animals, of the Lepidochelys kempiiy species, the smallest sea turtle and commonly known as Kemp’s ridleys, were taken aboard a plane belonging to the Turtles Fly Too organization, which landed last Friday in the Miami executive airport.
Ron Magill, chief of communication for the Miami Zoo, explained in a statement that “as winter approaches, sea turtles along the east coast (of the US) are subjected to temperatures that can be critical for their health and often leave them ‘cold dazed’ and incapacitated.
“Without intervention, many of these turtles will not survive,” Magill added.
The Miami Zoo Turtle Hospital opened last year and it is the first time that it has received patients from outside Florida, the state that due to its warm temperatures tends to receive more of these animals when the cold waves begin in the northern US. USA
The eight Kemp’s ridleys arrived in Miami from the Buzzard Bay National Marine Life Center in Massachusetts.
Each of these immature tortoises weighs between three and seven pounds (1.3 and 3.1 kilos).
Once picked up at the airport, the turtles were taken to the zoo, individually examined, and placed in recovery tanks at the Marine Turtle Hospital.
“The Animal Health Team will continue to provide the care begun by the team at the National Marine Life Center in the hope that the turtles make a full recovery from their currently compromised conditions and can eventually be released back into the wild,” Magill said. .
The cold caused dehydration, weakness, swollen eyes and chafed skin.
The Animal Health Team at Hospital de Tortugas Marinas will be able to do a better examination of their condition in the coming days as they acclimatize to their new environment.
The Kemp’s ridley is the world’s smallest and most endangered species of sea turtle, rarely exceeding two feet in length and weighing up to one hundred pounds.
Its habitat ranges from the Gulf of Mexico to the east coast of the US and Nova Scotia (Canada), a species that feeds mainly on crabs and other shellfish.