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LDWF Recovers Two Oil-Impacted Sea Turtles

LDWF Recovers Two Oil-Impacted Sea Turtles

POSTED: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 2:54pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:00pm

BATON ROUGE (May 21, 2010) - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists recovered two oiled sea turtles yesterday approximately 25 miles offshore from Venice, La. Biologists netted a small Kemp's ridley sea turtle and a mature loggerhead sea turtle that were originally spotted in a daily aerial tour and reported to LDWF.

"We plan to return to this area in the coming days to survey for more distressed sea turtles," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "LDWF is giving these oil-impacted animals their best chance for survival. I hope these sea turtles make a full recovery, as they are a resilient species."

A team of five fisheries biologists conducted a three-day rescue attempt of these sea turtles. The team traveled along rip tides, which sea turtles are known to follow, searching for the distressed animals; they were found on day three floating in an oil line. After locating, the sea turtles were captured using nets.

Once aboard the LDWF vessel the sea turtles were properly sampled and documented, as the animals were transported back to Venice. LDWF then transported the turtles to the Audubon Aquarium of the America's Institute staff who are then charged with cleaning and rehabilitating the animals.

LDWF is continually monitoring beaches and waters of Louisiana to survey for any animals that may need rescue. In addition, aerial surveys are performed regularly by USFWS under the direction of the Unified Command Center in Houma. Any observed animals are reported back to LDWF at which point fisheries biologists further investigate the report and follow full sampling protocols.

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Photos courtesy of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries