It is with a sad heart I report that three of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles we received from the Gulf of Mexico lost their battle against the oil. We are waiting for further toxicology and pathology reports to help us pin-point a more exact cause of death, but all arrows point to oil as the culprit.
While this is certainly distressing news, it’s not totally unexpected. Audubon biologists say it would not be surprising for the turtle mortality rate in this situation to be as high as 50%. We still have 28 turtles in our care and we are working hard to bring them back to health.
While our staff provides the best care possible for these sea turtles, there is very little documentation on what effects the oil may have on them, short-term or long-term. Audubon Nature Institute is currently writing the book, so to speak, on all of this. This information will be valuable to other facilities receiving sea turtles, both now and in the future.
The outlook for animals affected by oil may seem grim, but at Audubon Nature Institute, we’re giving it all we can plus some to give these endangered species a fighting chance. Every animal we are able to save is one more animal contributing to the future of the species.
What will tomorrow hold? We never know but we are ready for anything and everything. Until then:
"For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."~Baba Dioum
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