© 2010 Honor Marks
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
oil on canvas

The worldÕs most endangered sea turtle, the KempÕs Ridley, is also the smallest. During nesting season females come ashore on Gulf of Mexico beaches laying their eggs and returning to the sea the same day. Their eggs hatch 50 to 70 days later and the baby turtles run for the ocean. Years later females return to the same beach where they were hatched to lay their own eggs. KempÕs Ridley turtles are threatened in large part due to drowning in shrimp and fishing nets and human development and activity on beaches that have been nesting areas for thousands of years. It faces severe impact from the oil slick in the Gulf.

The turtle in this painting is Myrtle, a patient at the Sea Turtle Hospital at the S.C. Aquarium. He was rescued from Myrtle Beach where he was found with a severe head injury from a boat strike. His recovery is slow, but the day I met him he was swimming around his tank and very obliging posing for pictures.

Endangered species native to the Gulf Coast and the Lowcountry