Dr. Joe Flanagan, senior veterinarian at the Houston Zoo, had a call Tuesday from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Houston SPCA. Someone had brought in a small Kemp’s ridley sea turtle that had been found crossing a street in Northeast Houston. It had a hook in its mouth and x-rays showed it had pneumonia. Dr. Flanagan removed the hook, treated the turtle’s pneumonia and took it to the National Marine Fisheries Service sea turtle facility in Galveston. One lucky turtle! The US Fish and Wildlife Service has been notified of this illegal capture of an endangered sea turtle.
The Kemp’s ridley is endangered and should never be taken home as a souvenir from a fishing trip.