All seven species of sea turtles are listed as threatened or endangered. This is a reflection of the growing issues surrounding coastal development and ocean conservation. To help ensure that sea turtles have a future in our oceans, the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program aids sick and injured sea turtles in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
When a sea turtle is found stranded or injured, SCDNR brings the animal to the Sea Turtle Hospital for treatment. Sea turtles arrive at the hospital most commonly suffering from bacterial or fungal infections, shock from being exposed to cold temperatures, or injury from a boat strike or shark bite. Our staff veterinarian diagnoses each turtle and works with hospital staff and volunteers to provide treatments and rehabilitative care. Patients are given IV fluids, antibiotics, vitamins, and other medications. Based on the sea turtle’s condition, a variety of procedures may be performed, such as x-rays or ultrasounds. Rehabilitated sea turtles are released to hopefully become reproductive members of the sea turtle population.
Daily tours of our Sea Turtle Rescue Program facility are offered at noon and 2 p.m. to Aquarium guests. (Tour prices are in addition to the price of Aquarium admission.) Learn more.
We’re expanding! In spring 2017, the South Carolina Aquarium will construct a state-of-the-art Sea Turtle Hospital on the Aquarium’s main floor. Learn more.