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up-close shot of wild sea turtle swimming in ocean
All Animals

Sea Turtle

The Kemp’s ridley is one of five species of sea turtles inhabiting the Gulf of Mexico, all of which are either threatened or endangered; the other four are the loggerhead, leatherback, Atlantic hawksbill, and green sea turtles.


Animal Facts


Texas coast, Carribean ocean, eastern Mexican coastline and coastal areas of the eastern U.S.

Location in the Zoo

You may see a rescued turtle rehabilitating in a tank in Kipp Aquarium; our vet clinic treats injured sea turtles.

Cool Animal Fact

An invention called a “turtle excluder device” or TED on commercial fishing nets allows turtles to escape and survive while fish are harvested.

How We Help Save Them

  • Zoo staff retrieve and treat injured and stranded sea turtles along the upper Texas coast.
  • In 2020, 81 wild sea turtles received medical care from the Zoo’s veterinary team.
  • The Zoo partners with sea turtle conservation stakeholders in Texas to create sea turtle protection plans.
  • The Zoo is single-use plastic straw, bag, and bottle free – preventing 400,000 pieces of single-use plastics from entering bayous, lakes, and oceans each year.
  • Zoo staff conduct monthly cleanups on the Texas Coast.
  • The Zoo participates in an annual Plastic Free July Challenge to reduce our plastic use at the Zoo and at home.

How You Can Help

  • Call 1-866-TURTLE-5 if you see a sea turtle on the beach
  • Be a hero; reduce your use of single-use plastics!
  • Use a reusable bag whenever you shop. Reusable bags seen here can be purchased at the Houston Zoo Gift Shop, with proceeds going towards sea turtle saving efforts!

Donate now to help sea turtles in the wild.



Sea Turtle News / More ›

Springtime Sea Turtle Check Up and Release
May 7, 2021

Springtime Sea Turtle Check Up and Release

14 Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles Released into the Wild
March 24, 2021

14 Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles Released into the Wild

Spring Break Sea Turtle Release
March 16, 2021

Spring Break Sea Turtle Release