Sunday, February 13, 2011
Where do turtles go when they are hit by a boat or lose a limb?
The Turtle Hospital of course!
One of the tourist sights to visit in Marathon is the Turtle Hospital. The Hospital is a bright series of buildings with covered tanks along the shore. They care for quite a number of sea turtles injured in different ways. These turtles can weigh from 50 to 500 pounds.
When a sea turtle is hit by a boat, air can enter under the shell. This air can never be removed. The turtle is unable to dive and is no longer able to feed. The staff at the Hospital attaches weights on the shell to assist the turtle with its buoyancy. If a turtle loses a limb, it can learn to live without the limb if it is given time to adjust, probably a year, then they are released back into the ocean.
A good sized lizard was on the dock at the Turtle Hospital. They are quite amazing with bright orange undersides.