Too Many Turtles | God's World News

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Too Many Turtles
News Shorts
Posted: May 03, 2024
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    A turtle hatchling at the Turtle Conservation Centre at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, on April 23, 2024 (AP/Nardus Engelbrecht)
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    A worker attends to turtle hatchlings. (AP/Nardus Engelbrecht)
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    The turtles recover in plastic tanks. (AP/Nardus Engelbrecht)
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    A worker cares for a tiny turtle. (AP/Nardus Engelbrecht)
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What do you do when 500 baby sea turtles wash ashore?

Aquarium workers had to answer that question—and there was no time to waste. A powerful storm hit the area around Cape Town, South Africa. Hundreds of little loggerhead turtles washed up on beaches.

The turtles should be cruising the ocean. Instead, most of them will spend the first few months of their lives in plastic tanks. Workers at the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cape Town got those temporary homes ready.

The turtles were sick and injured. Around 400 will stay at the aquarium for now. About 130 will go to other aquariums to heal. The flippered creatures are labeled with a number on each shell. Workers note the condition of each one. The sickest have injuries, malnutrition, or infection. Many have also swallowed plastic bits—evidence that the ocean isn’t so clean.

Baby turtles have to fend for themselves from the moment they hatch on beaches. They crawl to the ocean on their own. These babies likely got sucked in by a warm ocean current, carried around the tip of South Africa, and spat out in the cold Atlantic Ocean near Cape Town.

That’s fairly common. What’s not common is the huge storm that brought so many at once. The aquarium has room for 150 turtles—not 500!

Getting the turtles well will likely cost around $500 for each one. Once the little reptiles are better, workers will release them into the warmer Indian Ocean in a few months. The Turtle Conservation Center brought in a small army of volunteers to help. Would you sign up for that volunteer job?

The sea is His, for He made it. — Psalm 95:5