Turtles released back into the ocean

As the winter months approach the incidence of turtle strandings increases. Juvenile turtles (mainly loggerheads) are swept down from the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal (where they hatch) in the mighty Agulhas Current and are 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 turtles range in size from 25g up to 80kg. Rehabilitation can last more than a year, depending on the needs of each individual, as some are not only suffering from hypothermia but are also injured and require treatment.

A behind-the-scenes look at our turtle rehab facility:

We also rehabilitate sub-adult and adult turtles that have washed up on the shoreline. Besides loggerheads, we've rehabilitated green, olive ridley, hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles. 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.

Please help us help them

It costs about R12 per day to rehabilitate the "average" turtle, and they stay with us for an average of 150 days. Please consider supporting our rehabilitation and release work by making a donation online.

Stranded turtles: What to do

Sea turtles, being temperate-water animals, don’t fare well in our icy Cape waters and it is crucial that they get help as quickly as possible. The Two Oceans Aquarium is here to help! Here's what to do when you come across a turtle on the beach.

A tale of two hawksbill turtles

In December 2015, we released two rehabilitated hawksbill turtles - Otto and Winston - in the warmer waters just off Cape Point. Both turtles were tagged and we were curious to see where they would swim. Click here to track their remarkable journey.

Bob and Sandy: the green sea turtles that could

Currently living in the I&J Ocean Exhibit are two special rescue turtles: Bob and Sandy. Bob turned around from the brink of death after pooping out a pile of balloons. Sandy was terribly ill for a long time, suffering from deep gashes in her carapace. 

Our turtle ambassador: Chris Bertish

We are extremely fortunate to count Chris Bertish as a friend and ambassador. He's taken up the plight of turtles in particular. After becoming the first person to SUP across the Atlanic, solo, we're even more confident that Chris's voice will help amplify our cause.

Turtle releases

To help us raise funds for this essential animal care, you can donate to our cause online, by clicking here.

Pictures of our rehab facility and our release activities