Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Species: Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
Weight: ~ 60 lbs.
Diet: Squid and Capelin
Stranded: 09/03/01, Crystal River Power Plant, Citrus County, FL
Story: Lost the right side of his lower jaw after being struck by a boat propeller, making him unable to eat crustaceans in the wild.
Personality: Strong, silent type
Loves: Scratching his belly on rocks
Known For: Being the only endangered species at the aquarium
Can Be Found: Swimming solo
Did you know? Power plant workers regularly rescue and release or transfer turtles who find their way into the cooling water intake pipes.
Rob was found at the Crystal River Power Plant in Citrus County on September 3, 2001 and admitted to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium later that same day. Rob, who was a juvenile at the time, weighed only 7 lbs, and had a wound to both his upper and lower jaw on his right side. Although this was an old wound that was healed over, the rhombus on his top jaw was sliced all the way down to his bone. His injuries made him difficult to feed in the beginning, but by the end of October, Staff began to combine tube feedings with force feeding sessions (where he was fed capelin) and things began to turn around when he began foraging on his own in mid-November. The only medical issues Rob has faced were the result of his jaw injuries. The uneven growth of his mandible caused a few abscesses, and he also had a growth under his lower jaw which was pulled and sutured in 2008. Rob had two minor surgeries, one on July 16, 2008 and one on July 17, 2008, to remove a large amount of granuloma tissue as well as small amounts of necrotic bone. He was then put on antibiotics, and his eating pattern slowly returned to normal. Today, Rob weighs over 60 lbs, and he has come a long way from the 7 lb little guy that stranded in 2001. Rob is a very easygoing turtle who loves his squid, and spends most of his time napping. Rob currently resides at "Turtle Cove" with his pool-mates, Bailey and Stubby.