If you are visiting Jekyll Island, stop by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a research and education center that includes Georgia’s only hospital for ill and injured sea turtles.
From a raised platform in the center of a cavernous room, hospital visitors watch turtle patients swim in the nurturing safety of pools. The pools are full of saltwater made with a product called Instant Ocean.
Patient charts, posted long the viewing platform, detail each turtle’s ailments and treatment plan. Most of the turtles were victims of boat strikes.
Sea turtles have poor hearing and vision when their heads are out of the water so they can be vulnerable to boat injuries when breathing, feeding and mating.
By the end of 2013, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center had cared for and released:
Mirrors are strategically hung above the larger tanks so that visitors can see the reflections of swimming turtles.
After feeding one turtle, the hospital spokeswoman explained how an orthopedic surgeon had donated his expertise and materials to help repair that turtle’s severely damaged carapace (shell).
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center hospital has a large viewing window so visitors can watch treatments and procedures.
Rescue staff may use a “medical honey” called MediHoney to help heal some wounds.
Adopt a sea turtle
Make a donation to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to adopt a current turtle patient. The donation helps pay for turtle food and medical care, plus research that helps sea turtles all over the world.