Monday, 3 May 2010
Marathon Turtle Hospital
Unfortunately, many of these tiny turtles are eaten as soon as they enter the water. The ones that do survive to grow older have plenty of problems of their own. Entanglement in fishing nets, traps, and line can cause drowning or amputation. Floating marine debris like plastic bags can be mistaken for one of their favorite foods, jellyfish. When they eat plastic or other marine debris they cannot digest it and may starve to death or get sick.
Turtles can hold their breath a long time but do not have gills like fish. This means they have to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Sometimes, boaters accidentally run them over when they come up in front of a moving boat to catch a breath. Even with their hard shell, this often causes severe injury or death.
Richie Moretti founded the turtle hospital to help injured or sick turtles get better and then release them back into the wild once they are healthy. The Turtle Hospital has successfully treated and released over 1000 Sea Turtles since its founding in 1986. The Turtle Hospital was opened in 1986 with four main goals: 1) rehab injured sea turtles and return them to the wild, 2) educate the public through outreach programs to local schools, 3) conduct and assist with research which aids the sea turtles (in conjunction with state universities), and 4) work toward environmental legislation which makes the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.