Turtle Hospital's opening draws thousands

Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 16:08 PM.

Our “Adopt-A-Sea-Turtle” program has always been popular, and we now have one-stop-shopping for the adoptions of our patients. While you’re here you can select from the list of turtles and various adoption levels and leave with all of the “goodies” in hand, ready to wrap for your family, friends or for yourself. And, for the first time ever, we have put together a special “Christmas Adoption Package.” We’ve never offered anything like this before, and believe me when I say it really is something very special. You’ll just have to come in to find out all the details. You won’t be able to get it online; and if you miss it this time you may miss it forever.

Directions to our new hospital in Surf City: Take the turn off of N.C. 50/210 onto Charlie Medlin Drive, which is the road next to the Shipwreck Point (Mini) Golf course. Follow the road onto the gravel section, through the round-about and onto Tortuga Lane. Stay on Tortuga until it ends and circle into our parking lot. Come in through the double glass doors. We now have a working phone: 910-329-0222.

Admission to the sea turtle viewing area is: adults ($5); military and seniors 65+ ($4); children ($3.) Visitors are always welcome to browse our gift shop, talk with volunteers, peek through the window and use the facilities for free if they don’t wish to take the tour. Watch this column and our Facebook page (The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center) for any additional tour and shopping hour and special events.

Ready for stunning temps

We had just loaded seven of our rehabilitated cold-stunned greens and a herd of hatchlings onto a Coast Guard ship for a cruise to the Gulf Stream when we got the word that there were even more coming in. Obviously these wild temperature swings have caught a bunch of the smaller greens and Kemp’s with their carapaces down. The latest admits are in a bit worse shape than the first batch because they had already been through more than one sharp drop in temperature before their rescue.

Before these turtles can be moved into our ICU they have to be slowly brought up to normal turtle temperature. We have a special room, “the cold room” that was constructed specifically to handle the process. But to make it fully functional we needed a specific piece of very pricey equipment to regulate the temperature. We didn’t have the funds to direct to the paraphernalia during construction, but because of the generosity of the visitors who came to our hospital over the Thanksgiving weekend, we now have the equipment and the installation on order. 

Our visitors and residents are very important to our hospital and beach program because we can’t be everywhere 24/7. Sea turtles are cold-blooded and cannot regulate their body temperature. That’s why a cold-stunned turtle can sometimes appear to be dead — it’s literally unable to move its flippers, head and often even close its eyes. You can help us by removing the turtle from the beach or water and placing it in an unheated area such as your garage, car or utility room. Do not try to warm it up! That could cause the turtle to go into shock. If you come across any turtle in distress immediately text or phone Director Jean Beasley at 910-470-2800. Please report any and all local sea turtle activity (strandings, injured or sick turtles) immediately to Jean. She can be reached at: loggrhead@aol.com for non-emergencies.

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