Hi turtle fans,
Yesterday was a fun and exciting day for us in the Rescue Department, seven of our sea turtles flew in first class style to the South Carolina Aquarium!
Below an endangered sea turtle is prepared for a flight to the South Carolina Aquarium
It is always a challenge transporting sea turtles to far away facilities. With seven of our turtles slated to go to the SC Aquarium we began the search for transport options. As luck would have it, our colleagues at the SC Aquarium have a supporter with some very helpful resources. Charlestonian Mason Holland, owner of North American Jets, happened to have an Eclipse 500 (very cool jet and one of the most fuel efficient jets built) here in Massachusetts over the weekend. Mr. Holland offered to fly the turtles down to the SC Aquarium in the Eclipse 500.
Pilot Andy Smith from North American Jets and the line servicemen from Jet Aviation at Hanscom Field carry the turtles from the heated ambulance to the heated hanger.
In the photos below North American Jet pilot, Andy Smith, assists Rescue staff biologist Jen Kiesling with
pre-flight turtle checks.
Andy Smith getting a close up look at one of his passengers!
A hybrid sea turtle prior to the flight to the South Carolina Aquarium
The photo below on the left shows a few of the turtle boxes in front of the jet. The photo on the right
shows a line serviceman passing the turtle boxes to the pilot.
In the photo below, Jen assists the pilot with the final positioning of the turtle boxes.
In the photos below Andy Smith prepares the aircraft for take off and then proceeds down the
runway for the flight to Charleston, SC.
I am always impressed and amazed at the people who reach out and help us take care of these critically endangered species. A special thanks to Mason Holland for the use of his jet and for donating the flight. Thanks to pilot Andy Smith for all his help and guidance with the flight logistics. To the line servicemen at Jet Aviation, thanks for all your help in moving and loading these turtles - you took great care of us all! And finally, thanks to my friends and colleagues at the South Carolina Aquarium for taking these turtles to finish their rehabilitation for subsequent release back to the wild. [You can read the South Carolina Turtle Hospital's blog entry about receiving the turtles here.]