Turtles released back into the ocean
Seven species of sea turtles live in the warm tropical oceans. Only loggerhead and leatherback turtles nest on the South African coast although green turtles are very common offshore.
As the winter months approach the incidence of turtle strandings increases as juvenile turtles (mainly loggerheads) are swept down from the northern coast of KwaZulu Natal (where they hatch) in the mighty Agulhas Current and washed ashore by stormy seas. They are often in a weak condition, having been exposed to cold water and are suffering from dehydration.
The Aquarium rehabilitates these turtles in preparation for their release back into the warm ocean. The Aquarium also rehabilitates sub-adult and adult turtles that have washed up on the shoreline. Besides loggerheads, the Aquarium has also rehabilitated green, olive ridley, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles. The turtles range in size from 25g up to 80kg. Rehabilitation of these turtles can take a year or more, depending on the needs of each individual, as some are not only suffering from hypothermia, but are also injured and require treatment.
- 2009 – 8 turtles released
- 2010 – 19 turtles released
- 2011 – 16 turtles released
- 2012 – 16 turtles released
- 2013 – 10 turtles released
- 2014 – 18 turtles released
- Seventeen juvenile loggerhead turtles returned to ocean after Aquarium rehabilitation
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