Greetings from Shackleford Banks
This week marks a big homecoming for Shack, the rescued loggerhead sea turtle. A team from Newport Aquarium is in North Carolina, bringing Shack back to Shackleford Banks. After spending this past year at Newport Aquarium, growing and thriving, he’s ready to return to the ocean. Here’s Shack’s homecoming, told from Newport Aquarium Senior Biologist, Jen Hazeres, and Water Quality Specialist, Cameo VonStrohe.
Monday, October 17, 2016
We spent the day collecting salt marsh fish with two biologists from Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium.
Jen has her feet in the sand, helps gather salt marsh fish at Shackleford Banks.
Greetings from Shackleford Banks.
Cameo (left) gathers salt marsh fish along Shackleford Banks.
We caught striped killifish, sheepshead minnows, permit, mullet, and hermit crabs.
After a short boat ride to Shackleford Banks, the team anchored then used cast nets. This location happens to be our yearling turtle’s namesake… Shack, where he was found stranded on the beach last year.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
We took Shack to get a check-up and prepped for a PIT tag. Dr. Matthew Godfrey from North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission measured Shack’s shell. Dr. Godfrey performed check-ups and took measurements on all of the turtles that are going to be released.
Jen holds Shack as he gets his wellness check-up.
Dr. Matthew Godfrey, State Coordinator for the Sea Turtle Program, measures Shack’s shell, and prepares to “tag” Shack with the PIT tag.
The PIT tag is an injected ID tag that can be read via a reader like UPC code. Biologists and keepers at zoos and aquariums use PIT tags with a lot of larger animals to help identify them from like animals in the same tank – such as sharks at Newport.
Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
We joined teams from Mystic Aquarium, Adventure Aquarium (our sister aquarium), Virginia Aquarium, National Aquarium in Baltimore, and NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.
Jean Beasley gave us a tour at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. She is a real hero for sea turtle rescue in memory of her daughter.
The hospital was incredible, Jean is a huge champion of sea turtles.
The pools in the picture behind Jean are full of other rescue turtles. The hospital gets severe medical cases that usually involve surgeries or more involved rehab. Almost all turtles are released.
The hospital is 20 years old but moved into the new huge building three years ago. They have two main rooms, one for more critical patients. They also have a surgery room, radiograph room, kitchen, lab, and more. The hospital is completely funded privately and staffed by volunteers. They rehab green sea turtles, kemps, and loggerheads. Learn more about the hospital here: http://www.seaturtlehospital.org/
From the hospital’s website: The mission of the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is the conservation and preservation of all species of marine turtles, both in the water and on the beach.
We accomplish this through the rescue, care, and release of sick and injured sea turtles, public education regarding the plight of sea turtles and the threat of their extinction, and learning opportunities for students of biology, wildlife conservation, and veterinary medicine from around the world. A nonprofit organization, we view our work as a privilege and are honored to work with these magnificent creatures.
Stay tuned for Jen and Cameo’s next post: Shack gets released back into the ocean.
Read our previous post: Rescued loggerhead sea turtle ‘yearling’ on his way to the ocean.