Disney’s Animal Programs Helps New England Sea Turtles

Sea Turtle Rehab (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Sea Turtle Rehab (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

The Seas with Nemo & Friends has eight new Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles

Walt Disney World isn’t just a theme park! It’s also a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center and is involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of  injured and orphaned animals throughout the year. Even during the holidays, it extended a warm welcome to sea turtles that had hypothermia from New England’s recent cold spell. The sea turtle hospital at the New England Aquarium was overwhelmed with caring for a large number of sea turtles after the cold weather descended upon the state and it had reached capacity. The team from Disney’s Animal Programs reached out to lend a helping hand, and picked up the turtles, took X-ryas and blood tests and gave them full medical assessments.

Sea Turtles and Cold Weather

Cold waters and frosty weather can lower a sea turtle’s body temperature and slow their metabolism to the point that they can be in a life-threatening coma. At Disney, the animal care experts want to increase the body weight for the turtles and so far they are eating well. Another focus is to strengthen the turtles so they can be released into the wild and swim in open waters in the ocean again. According to the care team, the sea turtles are eating well and recovering nicely. The ultimate goal is to release them into the wild, under direction of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In addition to caring for the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, Disney’s Animal Programs Cast Members have transported cold-stunned loggerhead sea turtles to other rehabilitation centers in Florida.

Disney’s Animal Programs

Disney not only celebrates turtles and tortoises at The Seas with Nemo and Friends, the rehab center has nursed more than 300 endangered sea turtles to a point where they were healthy enough to return to the wild. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has donated over one million dollars to sea turtle conservation.

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