Sea turtle hospital opens for tours, and Snooki gets special treatment

Sea Turtle Hospital News
We’re open for tours! After several months devoted to caring for cold-stuns plus the patients over-wintering with us we’re happy to be able to welcome visitors again.

During the month of March we’ll be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 2  p.m. You will still need to purchase tour tickets in advance through our website

You can visit the gift shop during those hours without taking the tour. We’ve spent the winter sourcing an incredible array of new items, along with the favorites in the latest colors. And of course, our adoption desk is always open when we are. With every March adoption you will receive a free copy of our inaugural hospital calendar featuring our very photogenic patients.

The really exciting news for our visitors is that Snooki is once again in the big house, Sea Turtle Bay. After several months vacationing in the therapy pool in Sick Bay while we completed our Turtle Bay renovations and her tank was out for restoration she’s back. Since she’s been with us her time has been spent toward the back of the big house where it was almost impossible to see just how enormous and beautiful she is. Snooki now has a position of honor right up front next to the railing.

Moving a turtle that weighs almost three-hundred fifty pounds was quite a process and took the entire team. Luckily, she likes and trusts “her people” and tried to cooperate as much as she could. She’s not real keen on being restrained in any way but after circling round and round to check out her bright yellow “Snooki Sling” she finally relented and let us guide her into position. Once snugly wrapped it took a village to lift her out of the therapy pool and settle her onto our turtle taxi for a ride. This zaftig lady never moved an inch as she rolled down the hall and into position in front of her tank, where she was hoisted to the edge on a board and unwrapped. It didn’t take her long to slip into her old home, enjoying the extra room and sparkling water. Just a word of warning to our visitors: Snooki likes to splash and fling water (lots of it!) with her ginormous flippers, usually to attract attention. Or maybe it’s just her way of showing love. You decide.

Although cold-stun season is coming to an end please continue to keep an eye out for possible victims. If you see a turtle that has washed up on the beach or in our marshy areas or is in the water floating motionlessly don’t assume it is dead. They literally can’t move, maybe not even blink. Whether the turtle is big or small immediately call our Director of Beach Operations, Terry Meyer at: 910-470-2880. If she is not available, call the hospital during operating hours: 910-329-0222. If the turtle is below the high tide line and in danger of washing out move it above the high tide line if you can do so safely. Ideally you should remain with the turtle until our trained volunteers arrive to retrieve it. If that is not possible find a way to indicate the location of the turtle on the beach by drawing large arrows in the sand or placing beach debris nearby. The State of NC hotline for stranded, sick and injured turtles is 252-241-7367. The state number picks up 24/7. All conservation work for endangered sea turtles at KBSTRRC and on Topsail Island is authorized by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, ES Permit 23ST05.