Several weeks ago we reported about two endangered sea turtles with pneumonia that were relocated from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi to Walt Disney World. The turtles were sent to Disney World’s animal care team for medical attention & rehabilitation in an effort to make room at the Mississippi Institute for sea turtles impacted by the Gulf oil spill. As those turtles are being nurtured back to health by Disney animal care experts, new oil spill affected turtles have arrived.
Six Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles – among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world – and two Green Sea Turtles injured by the spill were picked up at the Florida Panhandle and brought back to Disney’s Animal Kingdom & Epcot’s “The Seas with Nemo & Friends” to be cared for by Disney’s team of animal care experts.
“Oil can have a devastating effect on the health of sea turtles, marine mammals and birds,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., vice president for Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives at Disney Parks. “Over the next several months, many of these animals will require intense medical treatment over a prolonged period. We want to be sure that we provide top-notch medical care wherever we can – whether it’s on a beach or in a state-of-the-art veterinary facility. Ultimately, our goal is to re-release these animals so they can once again thrive in the wild of our oceans and coastline.” (-WDW Public Affairs)
In addition to caring for the endangered turtles in their facilities, Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund has donated $100,000 to help with environmental and animal rescue efforts. Included in this amount is $50,000 allocated to The National Audubon Society for their response in the Gulf. Another $50,000 in grants from the Rapid Response Fund is being awarded to various grassroots organizations assisting with the cleanup.