2014 Turtles: Partners in Rescue

We are in the midst of an unprecedented sea turtle stranding season right now. We've treated more than 400 turtles so far this year, that's double previous records.

A green sea turtle during its intake exam at the Aquarium's Animal Care Facility

But we couldn't help so many turtles without a strong network of support. First, our partners at Mass. Audubon at Wellfleet Bay organize volunteers to walk beaches in search of turtles, then triages the turtles plucked from the beaches. They also coordinate transport from Cape Cod to our facility in Quincy, Mass. This year in particular, it's been a massive undertaking.

Here's a quick video detailing that journey.

The US Coast Guard pitched in big time with a massive transport of endangered sea turtles this morning. After their health was stabilized here at our facility, 193 endangered turtles traveled south from the Coast Guard Air Station on Cape Cod to continue their rehabilitation at Florida rescue facilities. (Read the media release for more information.)

Volunteers hold turtles safely while rescuers examine turtles, deliver fluids and medicines and draw blood for testing. 

Meanwhile, around 150 turtles remain at our facility for treatment and more are washing up on Cape Cod beaches every day. With the help of volunteers, interns and staff working unbelievably long days, we're going to do what we do—treat endangered sea turtles and get them healthy enough for release back into the ocean.

Preparing syringes for medical exams

An Aquarium vet examines radiograph after radiograph, looking for illnesses like pneumonia

Volunteers pitch in with a dopler to record heartbeats in recently arrived sea turtles 

All new arrivals must take a supervised swim. That swim happens in an air-conditioned holding room.
The sea turtles arrive with temperatures in the 50s and it's important not to raise their temperatures too quickly. 

You can help, too. If you see a stranded turtle, please cover it with a layer of seaweed, mark it and call Mass Audubon at Wellfleet Bay at 508-349-2615. These are endangered turtles so every one you save counts a lot! Another way to help is by supporting the Aquarium and our rescue efforts. Thank you.

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