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Sunday, January 13, 2013

SC Sea Turtle Hospital

On January 11th, 11 North Myrtle Beach Sea Turtle Patrol Volunteers, in need of a turtle fix, descended on the SC Sea Turtle Hospital and the SC Aquarium.

First stop was a visit with Caretta, the Aquariums resident Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

Caretta was very active and seemed to enjoy swimming and performing for us.

At one point, she appeared to be playing peek a boo.....

As well as swimming with her tank mates....

But soon it was time for a nap and she settled next to the glass.....

A juvenile Loggerhead is on exhibit in the aquarium.   Notice the ridges along the back of it's carapace.

White or light shading from underneath the turtles.

Now to the Sea Turtle Hospital.  The Hospital was full with 20 patients.  Four turtles had been admitted late in the season, from mid-October through mid-November, two with injuries from boat strikes, one with injuries from sting ray barb wounds and one with an unknown illness.  In December, 10 cold stunned turtles, Greens and Kemps were relocated from the New England Aquarium.  Then the day before our visit, 3 cold stunned Loggerheads were transferred in from North Carolina.  The Hospital was also busy making arrangements for 5 more cold stunned turtles coming in from the New England Aquarium.  Soon, a record 25 sea turtles will be under the care of the hospital.

Cold stunned Kemps Ridley from New England

Beautiful Green Turtle

A Loggerhead watching us from it's window

A Loggerhead

Greeting us (or maybe just coming up for air)

Our visit ended with a trip to see the resident Pelicans!!

Now is the time to see 3 different endangered species of sea turtles.  The staff of the hospital is very busy but these turtles will receive the best of care.

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