Each year between April and June, a number of juvenile loggerhead turtles wash up on Cape Town beaches. This year, rough seas and strong winds have been contributing factors in the stranding of these sea turtles. Since mid-March, the Two Oceans Aquarium has already received 20 of these small turtles from as far afield as Knysna and Struisbaai, for rehabilitation. The Aquarium is calling on all Capetonians to keep an eye open for these little sea turtles and to contact the Aquarium if they happen to find one.
What the public should do if they find a turtle on a Western Cape beach:
- Remove the turtle from the beach
- Keep it dry and at room temperature – DO NOT place the turtle in water
- Place the turtle in a container that has ample air holes
- Contact the Aquarium on 021 4183823
- Make a note of exactly where the turtle was found
Please note: This advice is only valid for marine turtle strandings around the Western Cape. Should you come across a turtle elsewhere around the South African coast, please contact the local aquarium or animal rehabilitation centre.
Sea turtles are temperate water animals and when they are washed up on Western Cape beaches they are often suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and possibly infection. The Two Oceans Aquarium rehabilitates the stranded turtles and once they are strong and healthy enough, they are sent to uShaka Sea World where they are released into the warmer waters off the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast.
For further information please visit http://www.aquarium.co.za/blog/entry/stranded_turtles_what_to_do or call 021 418 3823