Brevard Zoo caring for 21 sea turtle babies

Baby 'washback' turtles at Brevard Zoo's Sea Turtle Healing Center


Off shore storms are causing some big trouble for tiny sea turtles. 21 baby loggerhead sea turtles, dubbed “washbacks” because they have been washed back to the beach by offshore storms, currently fill a tank at Brevard Zoo's Sea Turtle Healing Center.

All the baby turtles are estimated to be less than a month old. Most of the washbacks were found locally and brought to the zoo by volunteers from Sea Turtle Preservation Society.

“This typically happens every September,” Melanie Stadler, the zoo’s sea turtle manager said in a release.  “Washbacks of different species come in at different times of year, depending on when the adults nest.”

Stadler said she is hoping to release the turtles early next week.

“The washbacks have very little energy when they come in," she said. "Our goal is to bring them back to health with food and fluids, then release them at an offshore weed line.”

Weed lines are floating masses of seagrass that provide shelter for recently hatched sea turtles. At this age, sea turtles will eat “anything that floats in front of them,” but they are being hand-fed tiny shrimp pieces while they are at the zoo, according to the release.

Individuals who find distressed or injured sea turtles are asked to call STPS at 321-676-1701 or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 888-404-3922.


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