The Turtle Conservation Centre, based along the coastline, has been hard at work caring for a variety of sea turtles. Currently, they are home to two loggerhead turtles, three green turtles, and three hawksbill turtles. They have also been taking care of seven loggerhead hatchlings from the previous year.
With the arrival of the new hatchling season, the Centre has already welcomed five new loggerhead hatchlings from False Bay, Strandfontein, and Cape Point. This year’s stranding season has started earlier than usual and runs from March to July.
The stranding of turtle hatchlings is a frequent occurrence due to various reasons such as injury, cold shock, dehydration, and plastic ingestion. Cold shock occurs when the hatchlings, who rely on their environment to warm them up, are exposed to the cold waters of the ocean and go into survival mode, conserving energy and floating with the currents instead of swimming. Unfortunately, plastic ingestion is also a major issue for these small opportunistic feeders. The Centre had to say goodbye to one of its recent arrivals after it ingested 47 pieces of plastic, weighing only 44 grams.
The Turtle Conservation Centre is dedicated to saving the lives of these hatchlings and raising awareness about the importance of protecting our oceans. Small actions like reducing single-use plastic, participating in beach clean-ups, and spreading the word to friends and family can greatly improve the health of our oceans. As the Earth is an ocean planet, it is crucial to protect the ocean for the survival of all life.