Durban’s warmth and uShaka Sea World was the preferred destination for fostering 50 Loggerhead turtles which were found on various locations along the Cape Coast.
At first the turtles were taken to the Two Oceans Aquarium for primary treatment.
They had weighed no more than 150g and could fit into the palm of your hand.
Since the aquarium was awaiting the arrival of more stranded hatchlings, uShaka Sea World who have a specialised world class turtle rehabilitation facility, and is positioned along the warm Indian Ocean, they would keep the turtles.
It seems the turtles may have hatched between took place between January and March, during the last hatchling season.
“After making their way into the ocean, hatchlings head out to sea until they reach the Agulhas Current which takes them on a journey southwards and then outwards and upwards into the Indian Ocean Basin. The strong onshore winds recently experienced in the Cape meant these little turtles did not head outwards and upwards, but rather into the cold coastal Cape waters where they are unable to survive,” the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (Saambr) said on their Facebook page.
Saambr said although hatchling rehabilitation times vary and are case dependent their convalescence is usually much shorter than older turtles as they are merely in need of rest, rehydration and nourishment before once again heading off on their ocean journey. If all goes well the little Loggerheads will be back in the ocean before winter.
Senior Aquarist Malini Pather requested that “if you find a turtle hatchling on the beach, please do not put it back into the sea as it is clearly in trouble. Rather pick it up and keep it dry, out of the wind and direct sunlight and place it, if possible, in a tub on a piece of dry towel. As soon as you are able, please call:
uShaka Sea World
031 328 8222 office hours
031 328 8060 after hours, public holidays and weekends