Sea turtles that are deemed non-releasable by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are called “permanent residents.” Five of our permanent residents are going to live out the rest of their lives here at The Turtle Hospital. The others are up for adoption to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. Below is a list of our current permanent residents.
Want a sea turtle in your hometown zoo/aquarium? Send a letter to the organization referencing The Turtle Hospital’s permanent residents and emphasizing how acquiring a sea turtle can further the zoological mission of education and conservation. If there is a public desire for one of these amazing endangered animals, then your zoo will do its best to please you! We even send them internationally, like Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park in the United Kingdom! Check out Key West Aquarium or Theater of the Sea for some of our past permanent residents as well.
The following 5 sea turtles will stay at The Turtle Hospital for the remainder of their lives:
Montel: Green. The sea turtle “poster child.” Monofilament entanglement resulting in amputation of right front flipper. Shark attack bit off half of left front flipper leaving only half a front flipper remaining. Fibropapilloma and boat hit resulting in loss of one eye and indented shell.
“Adopt” one or more of these 5 sea turtles to help cover their medical care. They’ll even thank you for your sponsorship with updated letters, a photo and a certificate! Click on the How You Can Help drop-down tab and select Adopt-a-Turtle.
The rest of our permanent residents are up for adoption to zoos/aquariums:
Ocean Diver (“O.D.”): 330-lb adult male Green. Stranded in 2007 in North Carolina where he was named “Pepper.” He came in with a lung infection, was treated and released. The infection returned while in the wild causing the lung to collapse. By the time O.D. stranded in the Keys in 2008, the lung tissue had fused together. Unfortunately, his ailment is inoperable and irreparable. As he cannot inflate the collapsed lung, the other lung overcompensates causing O.D. to float on his side. Weights help to offset this buoyancy.
Kent: Green. Fibropapilloma tumors removed, boat strike causes floating. Weight system offsets buoyancy.