We went to the Turtle Hospital today. They currently have 43 turtles, 13 are permanent residents and cannot be released due to their injuries. It’s such a sad thing to see, but they are such beautiful creatures and all of the proceeds from the admission price goes directly back to running the hospital and helping the turtles get back into the wild. The day before we came they had released 2 of them into the Everglades and they had received 3 new hatchlings. They had turtles injured by boats, by fishing hooks and by things they had eaten, like fishing line and plastic bags. When the turtles eat those things they get sick and sometimes get life threatening infections. Our guide told us that if you see a turtle floating, then the turtle is sick and needs help. They have people who actually sleep at the facility 24 hours a day so they came come to the rescue when someone calls to report a sick or injured turtle.
The tour lasted 90 minutes and was very interesting. I did not know that there are only 7 species of sea turtles in the world and 5 of them, they have in Florida. Loggerhead, Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill and Kemp’s Ridley, which is the rarest sea turtle in the world and there are only about 1,000 of them left.
The saddest thing was to see the ones that had been injured by propellers and as their shells healed, bubbles formed under them, causing them to float to the surface and not be able to dive for food any longer. The Turtle hospital puts weights on their shells to help them dive. If the turtles with this condition are not found, they will get weak and starve. Luckily, someone had found the ones here and they would be helped.