Each November, young sea turtles—most of them critically endangered Kemp’s ridleys—are rescued from the beaches of Cape Cod Bay. On an average year, around 90 turtles are rescued by volunteer walkers from the Massachusetts Audubon Society who comb dozens of miles of beach trying to find the sea turtles. 2014 was a record-smashing year when 733 turtles were treated at the Animal Care Center.

Those sea turtles came to the veterinarians at the New England Aquarium with extreme hypothermia, severe dehydration, pneumonia and often shell or bone fractures. Their treatment can last from several months to two years.

Over 90 percent of the sea turtles that arrive at the Aquarium alive survive and are released back into the ocean. The Aquarium has developed an excellent reputation for caring for these turtles and the Aquarium's Animal Care Center is often referred to as a “Sea Turtle Hospital.”

For more than a decade, the New England Aquarium has treated and released hundreds of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles as well as many green and loggerhead sea turtles. These numbers are especially significant since the Kemp’s ridley is the most endangered sea turtle in the world, and every rescued turtle is significant to the survival of the species.


Join the Aquarium's animal rescue team!
A new interactive exhibit at the Aquarium will give you hands-on experience with the process of diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating these fascinating animals. Plus, you'll learn how communities are coming together to protect turtle habitats and get a glimpse at some of the Aquarium's greatest turtle rescue success stories.