Blog Post By: Dalton Moore, Sea Turtle Intern
Recently the interns and sea turtle specialist had the privilege of taking a behind-the-scenes tour of Charleston Aquariums Turtle Hospital. As it should be known, all species of sea turtles are either listed as endangered or threatened due to the increasing concerns that affect their populations. To protect these populations, the Hospital is in place to aid injured and sick sea turtles as well as the Department of Natural Resources. The Hospital has three mottos that the staff goes by to ensure safety and provide knowledge of all sea turtles.
Rescue, Rehab, and Release: When a stranded or injured sea turtle is found, SCDNR brings the animal to the Care Center. After the turtle has arrived, veterinarians will determine what the turtle is suffering from, whether it be predation, boat strikes, debilitated turtle syndrome, etc. The patients are then given fluids, vitamins, and antibiotics to help relieve the problem or solve the issue, dependent on the subject. Surgical procedures such as x-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans may also be performed with certain conditions. Rehabilitated sea turtles will then be released back to the deep blue with the intent to become successful members of the sea turtle population.
Research and Conserve: The Care Center also works with the McNair Center for Sea Turtle Conservation and Research. This group serves as a research facility to continue to watch all 21 years of patients that have gone through the Turtle Hospital.
Educate and Inspire: The center is also encouraged to teach kids and adults about the conservation of sea turtles. The Hospital and Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery ensure that the rehabilitation of all sea turtles is visible to all guests that visit the Aquarium. The Hospital supplies interactive stations that enable guests to retain knowledge about sea turtles, causes of sea turtle stranding, etc. Tablets are also shared next to all patients within the Care Center to tell their unique stories and stages of recovery. Lastly, there is a window that gives you a peek of the surgical suite where guests can view medical procedures performed on sea turtles.
Sea Turtle Biologist