The majority of live sea turtles rescued from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill so far have been juvenile Kemp’s rileys. Populations of these endangered sea turtles are growing, and the smaller, immature individuals are more abundant in the Gulf that reproductively mature adults. Four of these small Kemp’s ridley sea turtles recovered from the oily Gulf ocean have recuperated and are now holding and on display at a public aquarium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. J Nichols and I visited them today, and they were definitely the star of the show at the aquarium.
We spoke to many visitors and the aquarium volunteer docents about the plight of these endangered sea turtles, the current conditions in the Gulf we witnessed during our recent airplane fly over, and our efforts to protect all Gulf sea turtles from being burned alive by BP cleanup operations.
This little turtle below, LA-15, was swimming around slowly but was very aware of the visitors and my camera. He came back several times for more photos, but my favorite is this nice portrait below. This little sea turtle is a living symbol of how the courage and determination of sea turtle rescue teams can make a difference in the life of an endangered sea turtle.