Sea Turtle Center of Marathon Florida

This morning I had a craving for donuts, so Mike and I set out to look for a bakery. The one bakery didn’t work out, so we stopped at the grocery store to look for pastries… and a lot of other things on my shopping list.

While driving home we decided that hanging out in the trailer for the day at the RV park did not sound like fun, so I called the Sea Turtle Center and made reservations for the four of us to take a tour at 2:00pm.

The tour began with a “slide” show, with our guide, Alistair, teaching us about the five sea turtles that are in the Florida Keys waters (there are seven different types of sea turtles worldwide, with one living around Hawaii and the other living around Australia). In addition to the slides and Alistair’s presentation, we also had the chance to hold and touch a few items.

Following this sit down presentation, we moved into the “hospital’ part—one room for surgeries/procedures, one room for lab work/refrigerators holding meds and food, and one room for incoming emergencies/post-op recovery.

Our tour moved outdoors and down near the gulf waters where the recovery tanks are kept.  First we visited the individual tanks. Alistair filled us in on each turtle—what kind, why the turtle was there, prognosis, etc. After answering our questions in this area, we all moved into the larger pool/tank area. We learned a bit more about these turtles and then had the opportunity to “feed” the turtles that were further in their recovery (the turtles in the other tanks were on specific diets).

I left the Sea Turtle Hospital with some of the same thoughts and questions as I did when we left the Wild Bird Center in Key Largo. How much is man’s presence affecting the turtle population, and how much is “too much” in trying to save some of the sick individual turtles? 

If you want to know specifics about the five sea turtles living around the Florida Keys (what they eat, how big they get, etc.), I found this informative site.

Hospital Sign

Hospital Sign

One of a kind fridge sign

One of a kind fridge sign

A patient at rest

A patient at rest

Keeping track of the current residents

Keeping track of the current residents

Green turtle

Green turtle

Loggerhead turtle

Loggerhead turtle

Hawksbill turtle hatchling

Hawksbill turtle hatchling

Feeding the healthier turtles

Feeding the healthier turtles

Healthier turtles eating food pellets

Healthier turtles eating food pellets

Our first iguana sighting

Our first iguana sighting

Sea Turtle Hospital view

Sea Turtle Hospital view

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