The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

Sea Turtle Workshop Reaches Across the Seas

Deputy Director of DEMA Henry Wilson (right) and bystanders presiding over the 10 turtles before sampling and release

Veterinarians and sea turtle professionals from around the globe attended the 20th annual Florida Keys Sea Turtle Workshop hosted by The Turtle Hospital. For a group of sea turtles living at Bugaloo’s in Five Cays, Turks and Caicos Islands that workshop changed their lives. The ten turtles, four hawksbills and six greens were being kept in a man-made pond at the restaurant as a tourist attraction. Due to their poor diet of hot dogs, conch and algae, their health declined and word started to spread. Soon DEMA, The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association and MCS, Marine Conservation Society went into negotiations with the owners of Bugaloo’s for the turtle’s release. Vet Mark Butler who had attended the December 2012 workshop was able to put his newly acquired skills to work aiding these turtles. Each turtle was given a health check, one of the hawksbills whose flippers had puncture wounds was sutured prior to release. We are pleased to report that all ten turtles have been released are enjoying a healthier diet and the freedom of the open sea.

Dept of Agriculture vets Mark Butler and Lance (not in picture) stitch the punctured front flippers of a hawksbill before release

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