DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - The Cook Museum of Natural Science has a new resident.
The Decatur museum is now home to a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle named Kale. Cook Museum says this is the most endangered sea turtle species in the world.
Kale came to the Cook Museum in June and is housed in a 15,000-gallon saltwater aquarium inside the oceans exhibit.
Kale came to Decatur from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, a facility that rescues and rehabilitates sea turtles and other marine animals so they can be released back into the wild.
The museum says as a juvenile, Kale was hooked by a recreational fisherman off a pier on Chesapeake Bay in Virginia in 2019. Due to his injuries, it was determined that Kale would require medical attention from time to time, making him a non-releasable sea turtle.
Cook Museum staff and veterinarians now monitor his condition.
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is currently listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and has been on the U.S.‘s endangered species list since the 1970s.
The Cook Museum of Natural Science reopens on July 8.