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.
In early December 2017, 25 juvenile loggerheads will be released back into the wild. Together with Yoshi, the iconic Queen of the Aquarium, they will once again face the perils of the ocean – but with a renewed chance at life.
It costs the Aquarium about R12 per day to rehabilitate the average turtle – but few of them are “average”. From 25g hatchlings to 80kg heavyweights, dehydration to broken shells and picky eaters to energetic rascals, it takes a passionate and dedicated team to provide each turtle with the individual care and treatment it needs.
This year, you have the opportunity to adopt a turtle by paying for its rehabilitation - and in so doing, helping us continue our turtle conservation work. Your adoption fee will help us cover the extensive medical care and compassion "spent" on each and every individual turtle. In return, you'll get a unique certificate of adoption, a "turtle biography" as well as the knowledge that you've helped save a life.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Visiting Bob the turtle
- Otto goes east
- Bob the turtle's rollercoaster rehabilitation
- Green sea turtle joins friends for rehab and release
- Seventeen juvenile loggerhead turtles returned to ocean after Aquarium rehabilitation
- May the Force be with you, Yoda
- VIDEO: The story of June
- Critically endangered hawksbill turtle rescued by Aquarium
- Photos: Juvenile loggerhead turtles released back into the wild
- Warmer waters for Wasabi
- Rescued sea turtles return home
- Stranded sea turtles: What to do
- Turtling on: Inside the turtle rehab facility