A family boating near Horn Island found a young Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle dehydrated, emaciated and lethargic on the beach.
They did the right thing, said staffers at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport. They kept it in the shade and kept it wet until the state DMR could get it to the mainland and to IMMS.
It’s still too early to tell what caused the turtle to strand itself, but IMMS Director Moby Solangi said there were no obvious external injuries.
He said the 2- to 3-year-old endangered sea turtle has a good chance of surviving. However, there has been a high number of sea turtle deaths in recent years for Mississippi -- 299 in the year of the oil spill and 236 so far this year.
Since January, 24 have stranded and survived.
But Solangi said that is in stark contrast to the 15 to 20 deaths per year previously.
“After the baby dolphin die-off stabilized this year, sea turtle deaths picked up in mid-March and early April,” Solangi said.
By: Karen Nelson