If you understand mepersonally, you know that I absolutely love turtles. I have had them as pets all my life and currently have four sulcata tortoises. I have seen them on the beaches of Tortuguero published hatchlings in Monterrico, Guatemala, also swam.
For Many Years I’ve heard of a Location in Marathon Key.
It is a non-profit rehab centre for sick and injured sea turtles that has been founded in 1986.
I finally got my chance to see the Turtle Hospital in Marathon Key last week for a movie shoot. We got up close and personal with a few of the hospital’s patients and took a tour. Visiting the Turtle Hospital in Marathon Key is really something that every person can do — it is open to the public along with a must-do if you’re down in the Florida Keys.
A visit will provide you the opportunity to learn about the different species of sea turtle (present patients include Green, Kemp’s Ridley, Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles) and how they are rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
Betty, the head of this organization, gave a tour of this property to us. We seen with the surgery suite before making our way to the pools. The Turtle Hospital currently had 40+ patients under care for a group of people. The hospital has its own customized ambulance that it dispatches to pick up turtles in emergency circumstances.
Several of the patients I met were ship accident survivors that were struck a boat’s hull or by either propeller blades. Others possess fibropapillomatosis, an aggressive virus that causes tumors to develop around flippers along with the eyes. Turtles come in since they were tangled in fishing line, or possess ingested pieces of junk and are very sick.
In any case may be, the Turtle Hospital does. Unfortunately, some must be euthanized because of the seriousness of these injuries.
But the real reason everyone visits the Turtle Hospital would be to observe these amazing reptiles. In the wild they are constantly in movement so that it can be the only time that people will be able to view them.
Sea turtles have been in existence for millions of years, while dinosaurs roamed our planet, swimming the oceans. Every species of sea turtle is compromised, so the hospital does all it can to educate the general public on impact. I heard so far during my visit and I am so glad that I must spend time with my favourite creature on earth.
Entry to the Sea Turtle Hospital is just $22 for adults and $11 for kids 4-12 (kids under 4 are free). For program information or reservations, please telephone 305-743-2552. The Sea Turtle Hospital is situated directly on Route 1 at Mile Marker 48.5 in Marathon, the heart of the Florida Keys.
Don’t forget if you see a sick or wounded Sea Turtle in Florida, you must promptly contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 1-888-404-FWCC (*FWC or even #FWC on your cell phone).
Have you been to the Turtle Hospital before?
Leave us a comment below!
Photography by Carlos de Varona from Chromahouse.