More than a dozen sick sea turtles rescued, receiving treatment at Brevard Zoo

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — More than a dozen sick sea turtles have been rescued in recent days and are receiving treatment at the Sea Turtle Healing Center at the Brevard Zoo.

They were found stranded along the shore earlier this week, and more turtles are still arriving.

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Officials aren’t sure if any one thing is making the turtles sick, but the young turtles are mostly being found lethargic and underweight.

“The majority of the turtles that we’re seeing are juvenile green sea turtles and they’re coming in with what we call ‘chronic debilitation,’ which means they’ve been sick a long time and they’re reaching the point it’s a little too much for them and their stranding on the beaches,” veterinarian Dr.  Kyle Donnelly said.

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Sea turtle specialists at the zoo said part of this influx may be cyclical. But they said that alone doesn’t explain the recent increase in stranded sea turtle patients.

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“This is happening in our area along the east coast of Florida,” Donnelly said. “The brunt of the strandings seem to be happening in Volusia and Brevard counties.”

Donnelly said staff is working overtime trying to save as many of the turtles as possible.

READ: Two dozen sea turtles rescued after washing up in Brevard County

Once the sea turtles are stabilized some of them will be relocated to other facilities to make room for new patients, but the Sea Turtle Healing Center said it is running low on specialized  supplies due to the recent influx.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.