SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Six out of eight recovered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were transported by Rosemary Lucas, Zoo Miami’s Sea Turtle Hospital supervisor, to a site near Cape Canaveral where they were released, Friday.

On Dec. 9, Zoo Miami Sea Turtle Hospital received eight cold-stunned Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that were flown in from the Cape Cod area. 

The turtles were exposed to rapidly dropping temperatures in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, and they were suffering from a variety of issues ranging from emaciation, abrasions, dehydration and swollen eyes.

Kemp’s ridley turtle is the world’s most endangered and smallest species of sea turtle due to the illegal harvesting of their eggs and getting caught in nets.

After several weeks of dedicated care, six of the eight individuals made an excellent recovery, which was reflected in significant weight gain and increased mobility, as well as the healing of their abrasions.

“They’ve all been on antibiotics, so they’re all nice and healthy,” said Lucas.

They were each examined, measured and had transponders inserted for future identification. 

The Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are found from the Gulf of Mexico to the eastern seaboard to Nova Scotia where they feed primarily on crabs and other shellfish. 

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