Green Sea Turtle

This turtle is not named for the color of its shell, which is typically brown, but for the greenish tinge of its pale skin. At home in the bays and coastal wetlands of Texas, populations of this Texas native have been reduced in the past, but there is good news; numbers of this species are starting to grow in recent years due to conservation efforts.


  • Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas
  • Range: Worldwide in tropical waters, including the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico
  • Status in the Wild: Endangered
  • Location in the Zoo: Kipp Aquarium
  • Cool Animal Fact: Green sea turtles have a long lifespan, up to 80 years, and though they start out as tiny hatchlings,
    adults can grow to up up to five feet in length and over 800 pounds.

Sea turtles on exhibit in Kipp Aquarium are rescue turtles being rehabilitated for future return to their home, the Gulf of Mexico. 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.