Each November, anywhere from 25 to 150 young sea turtles—most of them critically endangered Kemp’s ridleys—are rescued from the chilly waters and beaches of Cape Cod Bay. Volunteer walkers from the Massachusetts Audubon Society comb dozens of miles of beach trying to find the sea turtles.
Those sea turtles are brought 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 Medical Center is often referred to as a “Sea Turtle Hospital.”
Over the past 15 years, 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.