Wednesday, January 12, 2011

19 patients being treated by Sea Turtle Rescue Program

Caring for 19 sea turtle patients and many green sea turtle hatchlings has left virtually no time to keep the blog updated! Luckily, much of this busy time for the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program has been documented on YouTube, the Aquarium's Facebook Page, by the media, and on Barb Bergwerf's website. Below are several links that we encourage you to visit to learn all that has been going on in the last month!

Two late green sea turtle nests from Garden City were incubated indoors by the SC Department of Natural Resources so they wouldn't perish when cold weather set in. In early December, the first "round" of hatchlings (56) were cared for in our Sea Turtle Hospital. Read about their release at The second round of hatchlings (38) currently being cared for are awaiting cooperative weather for an offshore release.

The little Kemp's ridley, May, that was injured by a boat propeller (photo below on right was just after admitted) in May 2010 was released in early December to make room for cold-stunned turtles. May was joined by two rehabilitated VA sea turtles (photo below on left) and one GA sea turtle for a multi-facility release. Read all about it in the Post and Courier:

Kate Dittloff, the Aquarium's Public Relations Manager, put together a great video of the arrival of the 14 cold-stunned sea turtles from NC on December 13 and a couple of photos are below:

An article ran in the Wall Street Journal online on December 15, just two days after the sea turtles arrived from NC:

National Geographic blogged the arrival and treatment of the cold-stunned sea turtles. See this blog here:

Just after the Aquarium admitted more turtles than ever before, a local cold-stunned sea turtle arrived at the South Carolina Aquarium on December 16: The first two photos are of Frosty being admitted and the second two are of the progression of the frostbite on the left front flipper.

And an update on January 11, 2011 from the Post and Courier:

You can always keep up with the Sea Turtle Rescue Program on long time volunteer and photographer, Barbara Bergwerf's website at

If ever there is a time to visit the South Carolina Aquarium and Sea Turtle Hospital, it would be now! The hatchlings and a few of the cold stunned turtles are going to be released in the next few weeks. All tour information is on the Aquarium's website.

Huge thanks to SC Department of Natural Resources staff and everyone else involved in the rescue, transport, treatment and continued care for these sea turtles. Your endless efforts are truly amazing! And many thanks to all of our supporters - we couldn't do what we do without you!

Kelly Thorvalson

Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager