The Turtle Hospital. Rescue, Rehab, Release.

A lost hatchling


On July 31st, Jim Bell of the Key Deer Refuge Center received a very special delivery! No, that’s not his lunch he’s holding, it’s a hatchling loggerhead found in a canal at Dr’s Arm on Big Pine Key. When the hatchlings are born they hit they water and swim for it…the Gulf Stream that is. Often as far as 20miles offshore, the Gulf Stream carries Sargassum weedlines (these babies homes) off into open ocean. This is where green and loggerhead hatchlings will spend the next several years, camouflaged from predators inside this floating Sargassum. However, stormy conditions can often push these tiny sea turtles back inshore instead of offshore where they are left exposed inside canals or back on the beach. Luckily, a good Samaritan noticed the hatchling floating in his canal and dropped him off to Jim. Jim called The Turtle Hospital and this little loggerhead is happily spending the next few days safe in a tank with a handful of other hatchlings. These hatchlings will be fed teeny tiny chopped up squid tentacles and be given a free ride out to The Gulf Stream to be placed in the Sargassum.

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