TREME AND MARGEAUX CALL AUDUBON AQUARIUM OF THE AMERICAS HOME FOR NOW
For Immediate Release New Orleans, LA
Two Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) are calling Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans home after being rescued due to cold stun.
Cold stunning occurs when the water temperature drops too quickly and the turtles are unable to retreat to a warmer area. Cold stunned animals become so lethargic that they do not eat and can appear dead.
Treme and Margeaux are lucky to have been found in December in the waters around Louisiana.
Treme, the smallest of the duo, was found on December 8, 2009. A fisherman discovered her overturned on some rocks in the InterCoastal Waterway. Treme’s small lungs initially did not look good and staff thought they were possibly filled with fluid. She was also very underweight due to not eating while being cold stunned.
Margeaux gets her namesake from where LDWF (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries) rescued her. LDWF officials were collecting samples from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, or MRGO, on December 21, 2009. She was discovered with a thick layer of algae growing on her shell and was very weak.
Both sea turtles were turned over to Michele Kelley of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and state coordinator of the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program (LMMSTRP). At the Aquarium, both turtles will be continuously observed by staff members and undergo any medical treatment that may be necessary to become healthy once again.
Once the turtles receive a clean bill of health from the veterinary staff, they will be placed in exhibits at the Aquarium until the weather and waters warm up and it is deemed safe to return them to their natural habitat.
Treme has recently graduated to the next step and can be seen in the Flower Gardens exhibit in the Caribbean Tunnel area of the Aquarium. “Of course, she has made herself at home,” says Michele Kelley, “using various coral formations as back scratchers”. Treme currently weighs three pounds.
The algae has been removed and Margeaux has been cleaned up. She is eating on her own these days but is proving that she is a picky eater. The good news is that she is continuously gaining weight. Margeaux’s current weight is 12 pounds.
Kelley and her team are looking at releasing both turtles during the upcoming summer season.
LMMSTRP is a volunteer organization based at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. The group is committed to the humane care and treatment of injured, ill, or out-of-habit marine mammals and sea turtles. LMMSTRP works with other conservation organizations to respond to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles, collect data about existing populations of marine animals along the Louisiana coast and waterways, and help researchers develop new knowledge supporting the conservation of marine species.
To report a marine mammal or sea turtle in distress in the Louisiana area, call 504-235-3005 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For pictures of Treme and Margeaux, click here