We had a very late night last night so I got up early to blog but blogger was down for some reason. Anyway...efforts here at AOA to save oiled sea turtles continue... despite the heat. Yesterday morning was spent doing physical exams, treatments and procedures on all the sea turtles. We also got 4 new turtles in last night. I'll focus on the daytime activities and post again later on our evening activities.
First and most important was learning the system for working within the zone system used for hazardous materials. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, several certifications are necessary to work with hazardous materials, in addition to experience with the species involved.
The photo on the left shows the red zone, which is the highest risk zone. This is where the intake exams and first de-oiling bath takes place. In the red zone all levels of personal protection equipment (PPE) are mandatory. The center photo shows the yellow zone. The second bath takes place in the yellow zone,usually the day after the first bath. The yellow zone also requires all levels of PPE. The photo on the right shows the designated green zone. Animals that have been d-oiled move to the green zone. The green zone is free of contaminants so only standard appropriate husbandry gear is required.
The photo below on the left shows some of the personal protection equipment. The photo on the right shows a typical washing station. Note the toothbrushes, these are used to scrub the oil off the skin of the turtles and from in between the folds of the skin.
Below is a photo of the red zone prepared for incoming animals.
In the photos below, this little loggerhead rests on a towel while we conduct a physical exam and administer medications. This animal was already here when I arrived so I am still learning it's condition. This animal was not doing very well yesterday but is showing great improvements as of today. I included a standard office stapler in the
photo on the right so you can get an idea of the small size of this animal.
Below is a tiny green sea turtle. This was also one of my patients yesterday and again today. I placed the stapler in this photo as well since this little green is also very small.
As I mentioned above, we received 4 new oiled sea turtles in last night. The turtles arrived last night at about 8:00PM. The photo below shows the activity just as the animals arrived. You can see the transport van behind the fence.
Efforts here are going as well as possible given our challenges. The heat is brutal and making it a bit difficult. The temperature today is in the high 90's - with the humidity factored in, the heat index is over 105 degrees F. I can honestly say, until today, I had no idea my eye lashes had sweat glands!
I'll blog again as soon as possible to catch you up on all the exams last night and the events of today.