The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.



Arrival Date: December 3, 2023

Patient Profile

Name: Nugget

Species: Hawksbill 

Weight: 67 grams

Reason for visit: Washback

Location Found: Key West, Florida

Status Report

12/03/23: Today the Turtle hospital responded to a call for a very small new patient. Dubbed Nugget for her small size, she was found washed ashore on Sand Key. Nugget was lethargic and in need of some care and rest. Our rehab team set up a small hospital tank for Nugget as she is only about 4 inches long. From the moment sea turtles hatch their first few months can be challenging as they navigate their new world. Sometimes their adventure can become too hard and can be found washed ashore in need of some TLC (Tender loving care) and medical support. Nugget will stay with our team till she is much larger to increase her chances of survival in the wild. Make sure to say hello to this tiny lady during your next visit to The Turtle Hospital. 

12/09/23: The rehab team has had so much fun caring for Nugget, not only is she adorable, but she is also a Hawksbill Sea Turtle. A unique species of sea turtle known for their beautiful shells and beak-like mouths, which is how they get their name Hawksbill. Unfortunately Nugget had some surprising items appear in her stool the past two days – microplastic! Dr. Norton suspects this may have been the cause of her not feeling well and washing ashore. Fortunately, Nugget is in the best place possible to help her recover and grow big and strong. Nugget has been enjoying her feeding time with her rehab team reporting she loves being hand fed. 

03/08/24: Wow, has Nugget grown! While still very small coming in at 5 inches in length, we are so proud to see her growing and improving. Nugget loves to play with her enrichment toys, bath time from the rehab staff, and take lots of naps. Visitors to The Turtle Hospital have loved getting to see our smallest patient, and we are happy to have her be an ambassador for her species by showing off her unique shell and just how cute these little guys are. 

06/01/24: Today was Nuggets favorite day “Scrub Day”. Rehab staff gave nugget a scrub down to clean her shell and give her some attention. Nugget is a very outgoing and playful young Hawksbill who has kept all staff of The Turtle Hospital smiling. While we absolutely adore Nugget, her time here at The Turtle Hospital will be coming to an end soon. She has grown so much during her stay, currently just larger than an iPhone and a strong swimmer. Stay tuned to our social media as someday soon Nugget will be returned to the wild. 

Stay up to date with the latest news of the Turtle Hospital by following our Facebook or Instagram online.