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Olive Ridley Rescue

In a very rare rescue, The Marine Mammal Center took in an olive ridley sea turtle.

August 10, 2012

Michaelangelo, olive ridley, turtle, the Marine Mammal Center
Veterinarians and rescue staff from The Marine Mammal Center stabilize Michaelangelo in preparation for an admit exam.
© The Marine Mammal Center

Michaelangelo is on the road this morning! After our veterinarians completed a medical check on him yesterday at our hospital, they coordinated with our colleagues at the Aquarium of the Pacific to see if they could provide expert medical care. The staff down there are excited to help Michaelangelo and while we'll miss him here at the Center, we know that he's going to be in good hands with the turtle experts at the medical team at the aquarium.

Michaelangelo, olive ridley, turtle, the Marine Mammal Center
Michaelangelo snoozes in his kiddie-pool inspired car seat on his way to the Aquarium of the Pacific Aug. 10, 2012.
© Ben Calvert - The Marine Mammal Center

This morning, veterinarians stabilized him for the journey to southern California and made a cushy seat made of a kiddie pool lined with foam and towels in the back of our rescue truck. He should arrive at the aquarium this afternoon where veterinarians there will continue his rehabilitation. If his rehabilitation goes well, Michaelangelo could be returned to the wild, and hopefully, much warmer waters where he belongs!

August 9, 2012

Michaelangelo, olive ridley, turtle, the Marine Mammal Center
Michaelangelo rests on a towel in a Marine Mammal Center rescue vehicle Aug. 9, 12.
© The Marine Mammal Center

Olive ridley's are normally seen in warmer water climates, so it was somewhat of a surprise when our rescuers received a call today about this turtle in Richmond Harbor. Michaelangelo, as the turtle was named, weighs nearly 70 lb and is about 3 ft. in diameter. As soon as rescuers scooped him up, they carefully placed him on a towel and began the process of keeping him warm. At the hospital, veterinarians took a look at Michaelangelo and surmised that he was suffering from cold shock and dehydration. He is resting comfortably in a quiet and warm area.

Michaelangelo is slated to be transported early tomorrow morning to a southern California rehabilitation facility with expertise in sea turtle care. The last olive ridley sea turtle we rescued was in 2009 and was named Donatello. She was eventually transferred to Sea World in San Diego for continued care.

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