Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3

Monday, March 3, 2008

Turtle Talk

We took the kids to Loggerhead in Juno Beach this weekend. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a 501(c)3-sea turtle rehabilitation & education campus located on the ocean in Palm Beach County, Florida USA. The campus houses exhibits, live sea turtles and other coastal creatures. Exhibits include a giant Leatherback sea turtle, salt water aquarium and educational displays about south Florida's marine environment.
The nature center includes a marine-oriented gift and book shop, featuring an excellent selection of children's educational books and unique gift and craft items. Park amenities include a guarded beach, nature trails, picnic pavilions.

The kids were there for the touch tank talk and got to touch a starfish, sea cucumber and two conch shells. The also got to meet some turtles.

Cupid: Hawksbill, Stranding Location: Double Ledges Reef, Palm Beach Arrival Date: February 9, 2008 Initial Weight: 25 lbs. Current Weight: 25 lbs.
This sub-adult hawksbill was found entangled in fishing line by SCUBA divers. They cut the line from the turtle but were concerned that there may be fish hooks internally or that the turtle may have swallowed line. X-rays showed that there are no hooks but fishing line does not show up on x-rays.

Kona: Green sea turtle, Stranding Location: Cocoa Beach, Brevard County Arrival Date: December 16, 2007 Initial Weight: 9.5 lbs. Current Weight: 11.88 lbs.
This is a small juvenile turtle that was found washed up on the beach. This turtle showed signs of being exposed to red tide – a harmful algae bloom (HAB) that can kill fish and cause irritation to sea turtles. Symptoms can include twitching, jerky head movements and eye irritation. It can cause death in severe cases. Kona is anemic. They are treating it with a good diet and iron injections. This turtle will be released when the anemia is resolved.

Squanto: loggerhead turtle, Stranding Location: Black Point Channel Arrival Date: November 17, 2007 Initial Weight: ~85 lbs. Current Weight: ~85 lbs.
This underweight sub-adult loggerhead was seen floating near Miami. X-rays show some shell material in the gut as well as some gas, which is causing the buoyancy. This turtle is also anemic, which is not unexpected in a turtle in this condition. They do not know what caused this condition. He already has a good appetite and suspect the floating will resolve itself with good nutrition. They expect a full recovery of this turtle.

The kids enjoyed learning about the turtles, and touching the sea animals. Also taking their pictures with the large cutouts.

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