Animal Conservation

Hundreds of sea turtles wash up on Florida beach after Ian

As so many of us in Central Florida continue our recovery from Hurricane Ian, the impact on our wildlife is also profound. Brevard Zoo is now caring for over 200 rescued sea turtles. Most of them are green sea turtles, as well as loggerheads, but all were rescued after being swept away by Hurricane Ian. “These guys don’t look like our typical washbacks. They are in good health. They are very hydrated. They didn’t need a lot of special care from us,” said Jess Patterson of the Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center. we see a hurricane or a strong storm forming, we in the sea turtle world are like, ‘Uh oh,’ the washes are coming,” Patterson said. The youngsters were all rescued by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. “They are the boots on the ground. They have a program, a system, that after the storms, they send their volunteers to get these guys. And most of the time people, beach patrons, will just find them,” Patterson said. The hundreds of rescued turtles range in age from days to months and will be back in the ocean in less than two weeks. after they were taken away. The sea turtles of Brevard Zoo will join others like them. We are still in communication with the six East Coast facilities of organizations that care for sea turtles,” Patterson said. And at the end of the “baby train”, the sea turtles will be transported by police boat to their homes. miles off the coast so they can continue to grow. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.

As so many of us in Central Florida continue our recovery from Hurricane Ian, the impact on our wildlife is also profound.

Brevard Zoo is now caring for over 200 rescued sea turtles.

Most of them are green sea turtles, along with a few loggerheads, but all were rescued after being swept away by Hurricane Ian.

“These guys don’t look like our typical washbacks. They are in good health. They are very hydrated. They didn’t need a lot of special care from us,” said Jess Patterson of the Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center.

Once sea turtles hatch on our shores, they travel over 20 miles to live and feed on seaweed patties.

“When we see a hurricane or a strong storm forming, we in the sea turtle world say, ‘Uh oh,’ the eddies are coming,” Patterson said.

The youngsters were all rescued by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.

“These are the boots on the pitch. They have a program, a system, that after the storms, they send their volunteers to get these guys. And most of the time people, beach patrons, will just find them,” Patterson said.

The hundreds of rescued turtles range in age from days to months, and will be back in the ocean less than two weeks after being swept away.

The sea turtles of Brevard Zoo will join others like them.

“We do something called the ‘baby train’. We are still in communication with the six East Coast facilities of organizations that care for sea turtles,” Patterson said.

And at the end of the “baby train”, the sea turtles will be transported by police boat to their homes miles from the coast so that they can continue to grow.

The Brevard Sea Turtle Healing Center wants to remind people that if anyone encounters a sea turtle, do not handle it. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.