Houston News : 120 endangered sea turtles flown to Texas from Cape Cod. 20 land at Houston Zoo.


The Houston Zoo on Tuesday announced it is caring for 20 endangered sea turtles from Cape Cod, Mass., suffering from hypothermia and other complications.

Staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and New England Aquarium on Monday helped load 120 turtles onto a SAAB 340B turboprop aircraft, donated by Castle Aviation and Jetstream Aviation Capital, each tucked into banana boxes with towels.

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The turtles were transported in banana boxes.

Jackelin Reyna/Houston Zoo

The turtles, which have pneumonia, other medical conditions, or injuries from being washed against rocks, require expert care. But the rehabilitation facilities in New England are full, according to the release.

“This transport was one of the largest ever,” Kate Sampson, NOAA Fisheries coordinator for the Greater Atlantic Region said in the release. “For an endangered species like Kemp’s ridley, it is important to save as many individuals as possible to contribute to the recovery of the species. We’re so grateful to all of the dedicated and caring people who make this effort happen.”

The Houston Zoo is caring for 20 endangered sea turtles.

Jackelin Reyna/Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo Sea Turtle Hospital keepers will be responsible for the daily care of 19 Kemp’s ridleys and one hybrid turtle, while 99 Kemp’s ridleys and one green sea turtle are being treated at seven other in-state facilities, including Texas A&M University at Galveston and Texas State Aquarium.

Sea turtles are cold-blooded and rely on heat from their environment to maintain their body temperatures. When water temperatures drop rapidly, they become lethargic and unable to swim due to the cold.

Houston Zoo said it will release the sea turtles into the Gulf of Mexico once they have recovered.

The Houston Forum

Source : chron.com