Sea turtle rescue and release and day at the beach.

Since I was in my early teens I have been fascinated with turtles. I’ve wanted one and I’ve wanted to go and see them on the Galapagos island forever. I totally blame National Geographic for my love. 

Rick (wrangling Maggie), Dr Shaver, Me, Isabella (holding Milkshake), Ricky (carrying Spike)

I never knew that they had releases that were public. And didn’t think to even check here in Texas. Who knew.  Texas is the only state that the Kemp’s Ridley is native to. 

Baby Kemp Ridley Sea Turtle weigh less than 2 ounces at the time of their release.

Well for a few years I’ve been trying to go and something always seemed to go a different way than my plans or the hatchling notification was at time that we couldn’t get out of work or school or another prior commitment.  

So this year I made it a point to go. No excuses, we took vacation days. And planned an entire trip around it. So we did see the sea turtles, not just once. But twice in one visit. Talk about a happy girl. 

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle North Padre Island National Seashore

Park ranger Dr. Shaver  and park ranger Rubio did a great job along with all of the volunteers. You could tell that all the rangers had, not only knowledge but a true passion for their work. 

The turtles were a sight to see. I will admit a few tears came to my eyes the first day.  Seems silly, but it really was amazing to see these little guys work their way to the water.

Just look at these beauties. 

Volunteer waving away the predators in the sky 


Then we had to see them one more day. So we came back the next day and I got to see them again. We all had a ball and my son is determined to live in Corpus Christi now to be next to the ocean and animals. 

Kemp Ridley sea turtle population is listed as endangered since 1970. How many Kemp Ridley sea turtles are there right now is not known for sure. 

You may be wondering why Kemp Ridley sea turtle is endangered after so many years. They are the only species of sea turtles that nest during the day making them easy for poachers. They are actually listed as critically endangered according to IUCN

Where do the Kemp Ridley sea turtles live? 

They generally live around the Gulf of Mexico but have been found as far north as Nova Scotia. 

How big is a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle?

Usually between 70lbs and 100lbs . Averaging 89lbs 

Length about 2 feet 

Biggest threats to their survival

Marine debris, noise, chemical pollution, entanglement, disease, habitat loss 

What do Kemp’s Ridley eat? 

They have a good diet which includes; crabs, sea urchins, jellyfish, squid, fish, muscles, clams, small animals and plants, and shrimp. 

How often do they nest?

The arribada, Spanish for mass nesting, happens about every 1 to 3 years.

They are one of two species that have a mass nesting. The other species is the Olive Ridley. 

While the largest sea turtle is the leatherback turtle the Kemp Ridley sea turtle is the smallest and most endangered. 

Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle migration rate 

Adult sea turtles will always return to the same beaches where they were hatched to lay their own eggs.  This means that if the eggs are migrated from one beach to another the eggs must be transported with the sand from where they will be placed to hatch. 

They migrate alone and journey alone. The males never come ashore unless they become sick or injured. 

How many eggs does a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle lay? 

While they nest 1-3 times a year. Each time they lay approximately 110 eggs. 

What is the incubation time of the eggs? 

About 55 days. 

What does the Kemp Ridley sea turtle look like? 

They babies/hatchlings are dark grey or black color. As they grow the bottom shell turns white and they shell turns greyish green or olive green. Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle shells are almost heart shaped or oval. 

Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle scientific name is Lepidochelys kempii.

Me, Park Ranger Cynthia Rubio, Isabella (holding Milkshake), Ricky (carrying Spike)

For More Information about Dr. Shaver and her studies go to:

1947 clip of Arribada

What can you do?

Never disturb a nest. 

Report a nest found

Report any injured sea turtles to authorities 

Don’t touch a sea turtle in the water or on the beach. Contact the authorities. They are trained to handle the situation. 

Dr. Shaver watching over the last few Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles as they make their way to their new lives. 


Looking for a way to help the sea turtles

Go visit, grab a bag and help pick up trash and earn a badge

Bring your kids and have them become Junior Rangers 

Have your Girl Scout or Boy Scout do presentations about debris


You can adopt one on more today!

Looking to Camp – RV’s or tent camping available. No reservations. First come, first serve. 

Read Day 1 and 2

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