Sea Turtle

All seven sea turtle species are endangered. Breeding females return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs. Sea turtles range in size from less than 100 pounds (50kg) and 2.5 feet (74.6cm) long (Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle) to up to 2,000 pounds and 8.5 feet (256cm). Sea turtles on exhibit in Kipp Aquarium are rescue turtles being rehabilitated for future return to their home, the Gulf of Mexico.


  • Scientific Name: Chelonioidea sp.
  • Range: Worldwide tropical waters
  • Status in the Wild: Various species are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered
  • Location in the Zoo: Kipp Aquarium
  • Cool Animal Fact: Male sea turtles never come ashore after they hatch and enter the sea.

Sending a Rescued Turtle Home

How We Help Save Sea Turtles

The Houston Zoo has treated over 300 rescued sea turtles since 2010 in our veterinary clinic. When they are well again, they are brought to the sea turtle barn in Galveston to prepare for reintroduction to the ocean. You may catch a glimpse of a recovering sea turtle at the Zoo in the Kipp Aquarium. Find out more about how we save sea turtles.