Friday, January 4, 2013

visiting turtles

Brielle took this photo of Camilla. Captured the day perfectly.
We thought visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island would be a fun thing to do on a rainy day. This is probably the best interactive rescue center I've ever seen. It's really good for kids, because it's truly hands on. 

We got to witness a turtle being treated for something called 'cold stunned'. This happens when the water gets too cold before the turtle can swim away. (Turtles cannot regulate their body temperature.) Scientists don't understand why so many more were found this year, than in previous years. They washed up on the shores of Massachusetts, and were flown down in private planes.

This caretaker is giving a turtle medicine. They are careful not to feed by hand because they don't want the turtles to associate humans with food.

Some sea turtles (I think this one is a loggerhead) have beaks made out of keratin, which continue to grow. In the wild, they are kept filed because the turtles eat shell creatures, like mollusks.  In captivity, their food is given frozen in ice, which helps to keep their beak trimmed.

If a turtle arrives with eggs, the hatchlings are kept until they're big enough to have a good chance for survival in the ocean.

After hatching on the beach, this little turtle was rescued from a crab as she was making her way to the ocean. She needs to live in grasses until she is bigger, and they are too far out at sea for her to find safely on her own. They are waiting for a volunteer boat to take her. Apparently it requires too much fuel for them to take just one turtle.

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