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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, Caribbean ocean, eastern Mexican coastline and coastal areas of the eastern U.S.

Location in the Zoo

Our veterinary clinic treats injured and stranded sea turtles at the Zoo.

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 2021, over 100 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 ›

Sea Turtle Release Times Three
September 21, 2022

Sea Turtle Release Times Three

Meet Our Sea Turtle Staff
June 16, 2022

Meet Our Sea Turtle Staff

World Sea Turtle Week
June 14, 2022

World Sea Turtle Week