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Sea Turtle Rescue Center

Get face-to-flipper with rescued sea turtles while learning about the threats wild turtles encounter.

Sea Turtle Rescue Center

The Sea Turtle Rescue Center serves as a home to rehabilitated sea turtles that are no longer able to survive in the wild due to injury or other ailments. A new, permanent addition to Kansas City’s aquarium, the center invites visitors of all ages to get face-to-flipper with rescued sea turtles in an intimate aquarium setting while learning about the threats wild turtles encounter. 

“We’re delighted to open our new Turtle Rescue Center right here in Kansas City and can't wait for our guests to come face to flipper with these truly incredible creatures,” remarks Ed Evans, SEA LIFE Kansas City General Manager. “Every year, hundreds of sea turtles require rescuing after sustaining injuries from boats, netting and trash in the ocean. In the wild these turtles would struggle to survive, but here in Kansas City they will receive the highest standards of animal care & welfare from our AZA accredited team.”

SEA LIFE Kansas City was re-accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2018 and continues to meet the pinnacle standard of animal welfare among the globe’s top-tier animal care facilities. SEA LIFE has the unique opportunity to take in rescued turtles that are non-releasable to the wild due to injury and help them to live long, happy lives in safety.

With the help of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center located on Jekyll Island, GA, the first resident of SEA LIFE’s Turtle Rescue Center, Shawny, has found his new home in Kansas City. Shawny was rescued by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center after being found in the wild with a severely injured right flipper that required amputation. Undiscouraged by his injury, Shawny is full of heart, enjoys green peppers and back scratches from his animal care team.

Our second green sea turtle, Lou, was rescued off the coast of Florida near Panama City. A fisherman found him, alerted the proper authorities and Lou was brought to Gulf World Marine Institute for a medial evaluation and rehabilitation. Lou is unable to return to the wild due to his carapace (shell) deformity, but will continue to live a happy and healthy life at SEA LIFE Kansas City.

Thanks to help from Southwest Airlines, both sea turtles successfully & safely completed their journeys to Kansas City, Missouri alongside members of the SEA LIFE aquarium team.

Both turtles join Gertrude, SEA LIFE’s first resident green sea turtle since 2013. While Gertrude and the two younger turtles will call different exhibits home inside the aquarium, each one is an invaluable member of the SEA LIFE Kansas City family.

The aquarium team at SEA LIFE invites guests to visit and meet the new turtle residents in their new home!