Stranded turtles have no hope of survival without human intervention. This is where YOU come in.

From 4 to 9 March 2019, the Two Oceans Aquarium's environmental outreach educators and Turtle Rescue Programme team will be travelling between the coastal communities of the Southern Cape to educate a new generation of turtle rescuers for the upcoming stranding season. This Turtle Road Trip will be stopping at seven network points where members of the public are invited to meet the conservation team, and learn how they can save a turtle - after all, it won't be a veterinarian who stumbles across a stranded animal, it will be someone just like you.

This year's Turtle Road Trip will also be visiting with hundreds of school children in these communities to foster a love for the ocean through interactive educational activities, hopefully creating future turtle rescuers who are inspired into taking action should the need arise! These school visits will be carried out by professional educators using our Oceans in Motion mobile classroom to deliver these critical lessons. 


Turtles in need

March marks the beginning of "turtle stranding season" in the Cape. Thousands of loggerhead and leatherback turtles hatch on the beaches of northern KwaZulu-Natal, and begin their long journey to the sea, eventually to be carried southward in the warm waters of the Agulhas Current. This journey is not easy; every hatchling will face high levels of predation, strong currents and plastic pollution. Stunned by cold, dehydrated and injured, many hatchlings find themselves stranded on the beaches of the Southern Cape.

This year we are expanding on the success of the 2018 Turtle Road Trip, which established the Turtle Rescue Network - a collaboration of coastal organisations working with Southern Cape communities to get rescued sea turtles to the Two Oceans Aquarium for emergency care as quickly as possible.

This is Alvi, a green sea turtle that was rescued at Struisbaai after choking on plastic litter. Alvi wasn't rescued by a crack team of professionals - he was found by a family of holiday-makers. Nobody plans to rescue a turtle, so having a network of passionate people ready to assist is vital.

Join us at the Turtle Road Trip events

At each of the seven stops, you can join the turtle conservation team for a short presentation about what YOU can do to help sea turtles as well as the work being done at the Two Oceans Aquarium to help stranded hatchlings. We'll discuss how you can help save stranded turtles that you might encounter, and what you can do to help them out on the other 364 days of the year as well. Be part of the sea turtle-loving network! 

Events at the stops are open for all to attend - all we ask in return is that you help save our turtles by spreading the message you hear using the #TurtleRoadTrip hashtag. Please find details about the "tour dates" and stops below.

Public event dates and details

Between 1 and 7 March 2018, 10 stops are planned, hosted by our network point partners:

1. Shark Conservancy, Hermanus - 4 March at 15h00

2. African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, Gansbaai - 5 March at 10h00

3. Bowling Club, Witsand - 6 March at 09h00

4. NSRI Station 31, Stilbaai - 6 March at 16h00

5. SANParks Ebb and Flow Rest Camp, Wilderness - 7 March at 16h30

6. SANParks offices, Thesen Island - 8 March at 15h00

7. NSRI Station 14, Plettenberg Bay - 9 March at 15h00

Why are we doing a road trip?

The Two Oceans Aquarium has a vision: to see abundant and healthy oceans for life. We strive to do this by inspiring people to take action for the future well-being of our oceans. The conservation work we do with turtles speaks to this in the most practical way possible.

From the physical action of rescuing a turtle to the realisation that plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats these creatures face, we are inspired to make lifestyle changes through the impact of these ocean ambassadors. We value this opportunity and want to develop it to its full extent, thus starting the Turtle Road Trip. 

Learn more about the conservation work being done at the Two Oceans Aquarium and how you can support our efforts.

After a few months or rehabilitation, stranded hatchlings that come into our care are released back into their ocean home with a second chance at survival.
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