VIDEO: Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center Caring For 26 Sea Turtle Babies
By Space Coast Daily // September 14, 2016
washbacks were found locally
ABOVE VIDEO: Dozens of tiny loggerhead sea turtles dot a tank at Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center. Dubbed “washbacks” because they have been washed back to the beach by offshore storms, none are estimated to be more than one month old. (Brevard Zoo Video)
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Dozens of tiny loggerhead sea turtles dot a tank at Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center. Dubbed “washbacks” because they have been washed back to the beach by offshore storms, none are estimated to be more than one month old.
Most of the washbacks were found locally and transported to the Zoo by volunteers from Sea Turtle Preservation Society (STPS).
“This typically happens every September,” said Melanie Stadler, the Zoo’s sea turtle manager.
“Washbacks of different species come in at different times of year, depending on when the adults nest.”
Stadler is hoping to release the turtles early next week.
“The washbacks have very little energy when they come in. Our goal is to bring them back to health with food and fluids, then release them at an offshore weed line.”
Weed lines are floating masses of seagrass that provide shelter for recently hatched sea turtles.
At this age, sea turtles will eat “anything that floats in front of them,” but they are being hand-fed tiny shrimp pieces while at the Zoo.
Individuals who find distressed or injured sea turtles should call STPS at 321-676-1701 or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922. The touching or relocation of sea turtles by unlicensed individuals is illegal.
Loggerhead sea turtles are most significantly impacted by marine debris, entanglement in fishing gear, coastal development, poaching and climate change.
They are considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.