Globe-Trekking Sea Turtle Comes Home

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory

Three years ago, a frigid sea turtle was found in the icy waters of the North Sea. Survival did not look good at the time, but he has since been nursed back to health. Now, this world-traveling Sea Turtle is back in the United States and is ready to be released into the warm waters that he once called home.

The turtle was named “Johnny” when found in the Netherlands and later had “Vasco de Gama” added to his name while in Portugal, where marine biologists cared for him. This is a very appropriate name for a Turtle explorer that may have traveled thousands of miles in the sea. Johnny is a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, which is an endangered species and the rarest of all sea turtles. That’s why an international team has worked so hard to bring him back to the Gulf of Mexico.

On Tuesday Johnny arrived at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla. where he was then put in a holding tank until they are ready to release him into the Gulf. He is on medical hold until they are satisfied he is good to go. This may seem like an end to his travels, but somehow I don’t think he will stay put. He has probably seen more of the world than most humans.

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