Sea Turtle Hospital News,We are really Back!

Sea Turtle Hospital News
We really are back. We’ve completed our first month of Covid-restricted public tours and our guests have had nothing but compliments for our new process: on-line, prepaid ticketing with scheduled times. And to make your visit even more special it’s docent-led throughout the facility with groups of only twelve. Through May we will be open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4 PM. For more information and to make reservations visit our website, Our gift shop is as open as we can currently make it (can I say Covid one more time?) with our staff of friendly “personal shoppers” who will assist you in the selection and retrieval of items. And be sure to stop at our new adoption table to learn more about the particularly photogenic turtles who would embrace your participation in their care.
Now that the coastal waters have started to warm our rehabilitated patients are all moving closer to the day we all work towards - the day they go back home. Last week our first release of the season took place in Sunset Beach where the water temps were already turtle-comfy. Seven healthy turtles, six loggerheads and one green were loaded up and caravanned down the road where they were met by turtle project volunteers from Sunset Beach Turtle Watch and Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization. These wonderful people have been enthusiastic supporters of our hospital for decades, rescuing and delivering the sick and injured. They have always brought large contingents of their volunteers to our releases, along with exceptionally large checks that are very much appreciated. It was great that the stars lined up and we were able to illustrate how important they are to the hospital and our work by taking our turtles to their beach. We could not have ordered more perfect Carolina weather and the local authorities and small crowd (again, restricted by Covid) was enthusiastic and appreciative. Thank you for hosting us and our turtles and flipper hugs to all.
Training for our Topsail Turtle Project volunteers has wrapped up and it won’t be long before you’ll see them out around sunrise patrolling all twenty-six miles of the island looking for turtle tracks. The official start date of nesting season is May 1st, not that turtles carry day-planners with them! It’s always a bit of a contest among the three island towns to see which one lays claim to the first visit of the year by mama turtle. The prize? A healthy clutch of eggs.
And we got our first local pier hooked turtle of the year, a small green who was lucky enough to recover quickly and make that trip to Sunset Beach last week. We expect to see more victims as the fish come back to our area, and for some reason it’s the Kemp’s who gravitate to the easy pickings around the piers. Our pier operators are well-versed in what to do so if you happen to find a turtle at the end of your line please notify them for the proper way to handle it. If you find a stranded or hooked turtle please call our Director of Beach Operations, Terry Meyer at 910-470-2880 or the hospital at: 910-329-0222 for pick-up and follow-up care at our facility. NC Wildlife Resources also has an Emergency hotline number that picks up 24/7: 252-241-7367.