The permit, that was requested on the 21st of January 2012, for the release of the stranded Kemps Ridley see turtle Flip has been given. The US government (Fish & Wildlife Services) provided SEA LIFE Scheveningen with this necessary permit last Monday. Because of this US import permit, SEA LIFE Scheveningen can now request the Dutch government for an export permit which is needed for the transport of Flip to the United States where she will be released.
Flip was stranded on the 10th of December 2011 on the beach nearby The Hague. Animal rescue brought her to SEA LIFE Scheveningen later that day. When Flip came in, she was very weak, had several injuries and sand in her eyes. She also refused to eat. On arrival her weight was just 1.84 kg. She was estimated to be two years old and she turned out to be female. At this point, Flip is still in quarantine at SEA LIFE Scheveningen where she will be staying until her journey commences. In the past six months she gained her strength well, her injuries are healed and her weight has been more than doubled.
The request for the import permit with the US government takes a lot of time and effort. The process endures for a minimum of three months. Flip belongs to the most rarely seen see turtles and the Kemps Ridley is also a critically endangered species. Because of this, they had to very precise in finding a suitable location for Flip’s release. During the process, they also needed to take a look at the planning and logistics of Flip’s release. As an example, they made sure that Flip would not be released during the shrimp-fishing season, because of the risk that Flip might be trapped in one of the nets after her release.
The request for the export permit will take approximately a month. Flip will be transported by plane to Houston (Texas). After her arrival, SEA LIFE Dallas aquarists will transport Flip to ARK (Animal Rehabilitation Keep) in Port Arkansas (Texas). At ARK flip will be prepared for her release into her natural environment. The release will take place when Flip is ready for it.
On 9th november 2012 Flip has been released in the Gulf of Mexico.
Learn more about Flip