This One of a Kind Kia Sportage SUV Was Built To Save Sea Turtles

Customized 2023 Sportage SUV 7 photos
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Sea turtles are vital for the health of the ocean ecosystems around the world. The problem is only about one in 1,000 survive to adulthood because hatchlings die of dehydration if they don't make it to the ocean fast enough. Not to mention that poaching and habitat destruction have negatively impacted all seven turtle species, most of which are now endangered.
Sea Turtle Inc. is a Texas-based non-profit organization whose mission is to lead the conservation efforts for sea turtles on South Padre Island, rescuing and rehabilitating injured ones and then releasing them back into their natural habitat. That’s not easy work, and Kia America is lending a helping hand.

As part of its “Accelerate The Good” initiative (and the second phase of its partnership with the non-profit), the South Korean brand has donated a custom 2023 Sportage SUV to Sea Turtle Inc in order to make the organization’s daily activities easier.

“We worked very closely with the experts at Sea Turtle Inc. to modify this Sportage X-Pro SUV to specifically address their needs in terms of performance, convenience, functionality, and operation, especially when driven in areas in which sea turtle nests are present,
” said Russell Wager, vice president, marketing, Kia America.

Besides the custom body paint and “Turtle Charged” badging, the custom SUV for turtles features a specially modified tow hitch, low-pressure tires suited for sandy terrain (with hidden sea turtle nests), custom storage solutions for transporting eggs, sea turtle hatchlings, and even rehabilitated adult sea turtles, as well as red LED lights.

Why red? Studies have shown that sea turtles tolerate red light better than the standard white headlights on the Sportage.

Both Kia and Sea Turtle Inc. will roll out a series of short videos on social media documenting their partnership, as well as the design and build of the custom turtle-saving vehicle.
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