Four Rescued Sea Turtles Return to the Ocean

May 26, 2022 by Seth J, SeaWorld
SeaWorld Turtle Rescue
The health and wellness of marine animals is our top priority at SeaWorld, and we’re happy to share another successful rescue story at Apollo Beach on the Canaveral National Seashore. After six months of rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Center, four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles have made their triumphant return to the Atlantic Ocean.

Thanks in part to our efforts, the turtles were able to come full circle from when they were first rescued in November of 2018 on the shores of Massachusetts. These four turtles were part of an initial rescue of 54, and they were the last to be returned following their Orlando rehabilitation.

The return was a quiet event. After loading the turtles into individual carriers in the early morning, we departed SeaWorld Orlando for the 90-minute drive to the beach. It is this specific area where the ideal release location is found: a section of beach far from people or houses.

Once the turtles were lifted from their carriers, you could feel their excitement. They started flapping their flippers before they even entered the water. One incoming wave and they were on their way to begin new lives. It was a quick but memorable goodbye. And for the animal care team, it was the conclusion to another successful rescue, rehabilitation, and return effort.

It’s significant that SeaWorld gets to help with a critically endangered species like the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. With an estimated 7,000-9,000 nesting females, every individual turtle counts in the health of the population. That’s why this return was such an important success, not just for SeaWorld, but for the entire species. It’s a testament to the hard work of the ambassadors who help with the care and rehabilitation of all our rescued animals.

SeaWorld recently reached 40,000 animal rescues, a milestone that highlights our dedication but also underscores how much work still needs to be done. We remain committed to rescuing and caring for marine and other animals every day. Please take a moment to learn more about our efforts and how you can help make a difference.