Turtle crisis continues - two more transports!

So much is happening here with the stranded turtles between my blog posts--I can't possibly keep up ... I'll do my best to summarize and to catch up so you'll have more real time updates from here on out. We transported more turtles yesterday and today. For the purpose of this blog I'll update you on yesterday's transport and tomorrow I'll catch up with today's flight of more turtles.

Below a green sea turtle takes a piece of squid from feeding tongs.

Sea turtles continue to strand along Cape Cod beaches. Mass Audubon staff at Wellfleet Bay continue to patrol the beaches at each tide. Five more endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles came in today. As a result of the high number of turtle strandings we have transported a number of animals to our partners in sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation. Yesterday we sent 5 turtles to the National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB). NAIB has an excellent rescue and rehabilitation program for distressed sea turtles and marine mammals.

My colleague, Jen Dittmar, at NAIB managed to arrange for the Civil Air Force to pick up the animals and fly them back to Baltimore for further rehabilitation. In the photo on the left, our animal ambulance is parked next to the plane as we prepare to move the animals from the ambulance to the aircraft. Walt, the volunteer pilot is pictured on the right - thanks Walt and the Civil Air Patrol for your help!

Ambulance and turtle transport plane as we load the the animals into the plane. Photo on right shows the plane as it makes its way to the runway.

In addition to arranging for the Civil Air Patrol to fly the animals to Baltimore and taking five of our turtles for Rehabilitation, Jen also shipped us a box of some of the most delicious treats you could imagine! We have a lot of volunteers here daily helping us take care of the turtles, these wonderful treats were enjoyed (translation - devoured!) by all.

Photo on the left shows the tins of treats. Photo on the right shows my lunch for the say...I certainly hope my primary care physician isn't reading this blog!

In addition to new arrival in-take exams, treatments on the other turtles continue on a daily bases. Below are some photos of the teams of staff and volunteers helping during this event.

The clinic is non stop with animal treatments. We set up two additional treatment stations on the deck near the pools to increase our treatment abilities. In the photo on the left Kurt and Alan work on a turtle while Adam consults with Lisbeth who is acting as life guard to the newer turtles in the kiddie pool area. In the photo on the right Adam and Ann work on another turtle.

In the photo below Kerry takes a blood sample while Alan holds the turtle.

In the photo below newer sea turtles take a supervised swim in a shallow pool.

Based on the number of sea turtle sightings in Cape Cod Bay this summer and the high numbers of animals stranding, we expect to see many more animals strand over the next few weeks. On behalf of the Rescue staff I'd like to extend our thanks to all who have helped us with this event. Over the next week I'll feature some of the helpers who have donated their time. I'll also feature others who have helped us in other ways.

Thanks to everyone who donated with their cell phones and for all of your interest and support!

- Connie

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