Endangered Turtle Found in Holland Returns to Gulf of Mexico

Grapevine veterinarians help Kemp ridley sea turtle Flip get back into the wild

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle found in the Netherlands, that underwent rehab in Grapevine, finished its journey when it was released in the Gulf of Mexico Friday. (Published Friday, Nov 9, 2012)

    A young, endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle that ended up in Holland was released back into the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.

    Flip's journey started in The Hague, Holland, about this time last year. She was found on the shore, injured and dying. The prospects of her survival was dim.

    How she got there is still a mystery.

    A team of veterinarians took Flip in and started rehabilitation.

    A year later, Flip was ready to go back into the wild -- but not without a stop in North Texas first. She made a 5,000 mile, 10-hour trip from Holland to vets at the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium.

    Even though the Gulf is hundreds of miles away, vets in Grapevine have continued the treatment -- and got her ready to go back out on her own.

    The Animal Rehabilitation Keep in Port Aransas was Flip's last stop in her journey back to the wild.

    "It's really incredible, one of those wonderful stories," said Tony Amos, who runs the Animal Rehabilitation Keep.

    "She looks great," ARK veterinarian Tim Tristan said. "We did a full physical exam on her. She looks really good. She looks healthy. They did a really good job on the other side of the ocean."

    With the help of an international coalition that included specialists from North Texas the member of the endangered species officially has become a Texan.

    "People often ask, 'Why do you spend all this time and effort?' But I think it's important that people realize that we need to spend a little time and effort on these wonderful animals and that they're often in danger because of things we as human beings do," Amos said.

    Flip was released Friday morning along the beaches near Port Aransas. Scientists placed a GAPS tracking device on her to track her progress.