Scrubbing Oil From Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Picture by: Sylvia Wright/Univ. of Calif. at Davis Picture taken on: June 6th, 2010
NOAA and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as part of the Unified Area Command, established 4 primary care rehabilitation facilities for the de-oiling of sea turtles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response. Primary facilities included: the Audubon Nature Institute outside New Orleans, the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., Gulf World in Panama City, Fla., and Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. These facilities were equipped and trained to de-oil sea turtles. Turtles were first examined and wiped with oil absorbent cloths to remove excess oil, then oil was cleaned from skin folds using toothbrushes and soap and water. The turtles were fed a mayonnaise mixture to help move ingested oil through their digestive systems. Once animals were stable and de-oiled, turtles that needed longer term rehabilitation were moved to secondary rehabilitation facilities. Sea World, Disney Living Seas, Clearwater Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, and Mote Marine Laboratory, all in Florida, stepped in as these secondary rehabilitation facilities.
Related Story: Scrubbing Oil From Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle