It has been a record setting turtle season with BIG numbers of cold-stunned sea turtles being admitted to the Animal Care Center. As of this moment, we have had over 160 turtles come through our door in the past month. We haven't had much time to share stories about our amazing patients, but I just wanted to take the time to show you the BIG events happening for the Rescue Team through some photos from the front line.
loggerhead sea turtles we are seeing range from 20 pounds to over 70 pounds. We are also getting several in one day. The photo above shows a group of 22 turtles that all arrived last Thursday which included 6 of these big guys. Normally we may see 1-5 loggerheads in a season, but we have received over 25 already!
University of New England (UNE), National Marine Life Center, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Virginia Aquarium, South Carolina Aquarium, and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
The BIGGEST transport of all happened on Friday! 35 sea turtles - 15 loggerheads (including six that had been sent to UNE) and 20 Kemp's ridley sea turtles - were flown to Florida to continue rehabilitation at various facilites.
IFAW's Marine Mammal Rescue Team) and transported to Otis Air Force Base where they were loaded onto a C-130. The Coast Guard did us an amazing favor by flying these animals to Florida.
Above, the turtles are done being loaded and they prepare for take off. We appreciate the BIG support from all of the organizations helping us for this transport. UNE and IFAW went out of their way to provide the transportation to the air field and we could not have transported such a large number of turtles without the Coast Guard's kindness. And a huge thanks to the facilities who received these patients and will continue their care, including SeaWorld Orlando, Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida Aquarium, Loggerhead MarineLife Center, and Volusia Marine Science Center.
The aquarium will continue to update you on the BIG happenings in Quincy, and on behalf of the rescue staff, we will try to get some more photos and stories to you in the coming weeks. Our amazing volunteers are tirelessly working alongside us, and we all appreciate the support as the BIGGEST turtle season in Massachusetts continues.