Two Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, suffering from pneumonia, were moved from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Mississippi to Walt Disney World. Now heading down the road to recovery, the endangered turtles were relocated to make room for animals directly impacted by the Gulf oil spill. Since June 25th, Disney animal care experts have been caring for them with an extensive rehabilitation program.
“They’re doing very well,” said Tom Hopkins, animal operations area director for Walt Disney World Resort. “One still has a touch of pneumonia but is doing much better. The other sea turtle is eating more and beginning to gain weight.” -WDW Public Affairs
The two turtles are currently being monitored in a backstage area of EPCOT and will continue to receive several months of rehabilitative care before being released back into the wild.
Disney’s Animal Programs support the rescue and rehabilitation of more than 1,000 injured and orphaned wild animals each year. Sea turtles alone make up a sizeable portion of their efforts; nursing over 250 endangered sea turtles back to health since 1986. In early 2010 when Florida experienced an unusual cold snap Disney animal care teams cared for 15 green turtles, saving them from the chilly temps.
photo copyright Disney