The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Hatchling Release

Aug 2, 2008

Each year during turtle nesting season, the Turtle Hospital cares for a number of hatchlings. These are the ones that become disorientated due to lighting in the area of the nest, that become entangled in vegetation, don’t make it out of the nest (found during inventory of the nest), are injured by animal / insect attack or are washed back to shore. Nesting beaches in the Keys are monitored by a network of volunteers, Park staff and others that walk the beaches daily to identify nesting crawls that occurred the previous night. Nests are marked, monitored and inventoried after hatching.

Hatchlings brought to the Turtle Hospital are placed in tanks and offered food (pieces of squid tentacles and small bits of shrimp). Once the hatchlings start eating, they are ready for release.

After emerging from the nest, hatchlings would normally swim to the Sargassum sea weed patches that are prevalent off shore this time of year. The ones in our care are given a boat ride out to the sea weed patches to ensure they have a good chance to survive (birds and fish are always on the look out for a quick and easy snack).


A group of Loggerhead hatchlings were released yesterday. Pictured below is Holly Rolls who is one of the beach monitors for Sombrero and Coco Plum beaches in Marathon. Holly brought in several of the hatchlings (found during inventory of nests she identified) and had the opportunity to see the babies off to start their life in the ocean.


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