Disney Caring For Gulf Rescued Turtles

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.,  – Disney animal experts are caring for five more ailing Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles brought to Walt Disney World Resort from the Gulf region. The animals join two other sea turtles already on the road to recovery after being transferred from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., to make room for animals directly impacted by the oil spill.  

Each of the sea turtles brought in from the Gulf for care suffers from pneumonia. Kemp’s Ridley turtles are among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world. They are being monitored in a special backstage area at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot and will require several months of rehabilitation before they are released back into the wild.  

The five new sea turtles will first be evaluated by veterinarians and other animal care experts. The two other turtles are making progress since their rehabilitation at Walt Disney World Resort began on June 25.

“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.”

Animal experts at Walt Disney World Resort have extensive experience rehabilitating sea turtles. Since 1986, Disney animal care teams have nursed more than 250 endangered sea turtles back to health. Most recently, Disney animal experts cared for 15 green sea turtles injured from the cold weather snap that affected Florida earlier this year.  

As a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center, Disney’s Animal Programs supports the rescue and rehabilitation of more than 1,000 injured and orphaned wild animals each year. The team participates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other zoological facilities and conservation groups in the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership. The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot is a designated rehabilitation site for rescued manatees and sea turtles until they are well enough to be returned to their habitats.

Posted in Disney (General) | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment