June 25, 2010 - Gauthier, Houghtaling and Williams made possible the shipment of nine endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to a new home at Sea World in Orlando. The turtles were receiving care at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss. for injuries related to fishing lines and hooks. The animals were flown to Florida aboard a private plane donated by the firm so the IMMA can make room for animals in need of treatment due to the oil spill. The turtles are in stable condition and the goal is to eventually release them back into the wild.
Sea World is one of the few organizations with the expertise to tend to the special needs of Kemp's Ridley sea turtles. They are solitary animals and do not interact with each other and other turtle species. This made their trek to Sea World imperative as park aquarists have set up a triage area to accommodate the new patients.
Orlando Sentinel: SeaWorld, Disney team up in Gulf turtles rescue
13 News Orlando: Sea Turtle Flown to Orlando
WLOX 13 Biloxi: Rescued endangered turtles going to Disney World and SeaWorld
WLOX 13 Biloxi Video
Miss. SunHerald: Turtles Rescued in Sound on their Way to SeaWorld for more Rehab