A hospital keeps helpless turtles safe during hurricane season

A hospital keeps helpless turtles safe during hurricane season

Almost all of the species of sea turtles in the world are listed as endangered. They suffer from poaching, climate change, and habitat destruction. People kill sea turtles for their eggs, meat, skin, and shells. Turtles also get caught in nets and ingest plastic that is floating in the ocean. Their nesting grounds are becoming unsafe due to climate change. These turtles need all the help that they can get. Luckily, there’s a hospital in Florida that is dedicated solely to helping turtles, called The Turtle Hospital.

The Turtle Hospital

The Turtle Hospital was founded in 1986. Since it opened it has rescued, treated, and released over 1,500 turtles back into the wild. The hospital treats turtles that need flipper amputations because they were caught in fishing or boat lines. They treat shell damage for the ones that collided with boats, and intestinal problems when a turtle has ingested plastic or other foreign materials. They also treat the turtles that have developed Fibropapilloma, which causes viral tumors. It affects 50% of the sea turtle population across the world.

Preparing for hurricane season

Since The Turtle Hospital is located in Florida, hurricane season is always a problem. The hospital always prepares the best way it can to make sure that their guests are comfortable while storms rage around them. Learning from past hurricanes, the hospital purchased two 30,000 gallon hurricane tanks. These tanks are located outside on higher ground than the rest of the hospital. Most of the turtles were moved to those two tanks when the warning about Hurricane Irma came. Two turtles were too sick to be moved to those tanks, so they were brought into tanks inside the building.


After Hurricane Irma

After Hurricane Irma hit, the hospital, while suffering from power outages and other related issues, was in fairly decent shape. They didn’t lose a single turtle, and in fact gained three new patients. The youngest new patient was a baby turtle that the staff aptly named Irma.


The Turtle Hospital does amazing work taking care of sick and injured sea turtles. Living in Florida does mean that hurricane season is a persistent problem that they have to battle against. But they do have proper systems and equipment in place to ensure that everyone stays safe. You can pop over to The Turtle Hospital Facebook page to see how everyone is doing and to view more cute pictures of turtles.

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