A rare endangered juvenile Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle has been rescued in Fenwick Island.
The MERR Institute received a call Thursday from residents at Keenwick on the Bay who discovered the injured turtle. The turtle had been waving its flipper toward its head, where there was a wound.
MERR personnel brought the turtle to its facilities for examination and preparation for transport to the national aquarium for rehabilitation. The injury could have been caused by a boat propeller.
“I don’t know if it still has vision in the injured eye, or if the injuries are more extensive than we
can determine upon an external exam,” MERR Institute Executive Director Suzanne Thurman said. “But the Aquarium will perform diagnostics to get a more in-depth picture of her condition.”
The turtle was also described as underweight and dehydrated, but ‘fairly lively.’
The Kemp’s Ridley turtle is the smallest of the sea turtle species. They prefer warm waters and are rarely found outside the Gulf of Mexico, but juveniles do migrate to the east coast.
The turtle has been given a name: Dread Pirate Roberts, or “Pirate” for short due to its eye. The turtle will be renamed at the Aquarium.
The MERR Institute responds to reports of marine mammals or sea turtles in distress. Its 24-hour hotline is 302-228-5029.