Weighing the babies

Today, volunteer duty at the Two Oceans was unusually interesting: weighing and feeding just under 200 baby turtles.

These little guys were washed up on our Cape Town beaches, far from the warm Indian Ocean currents where they belong. They are all starving, suffering from hypothermia and dehydration and various other ailments as a result of their traumatic experience.

If they survive and grow big and strong they’ll be taken back up to their home waters and released. But first they must put on some weight!

Here are some more pictures of the baby turtles.  Apparently, although there are little ones found on our beaches every year, there’s never been so many as there are this year. Already nearly 200 and still more expected.  
These ones are teeny tiny, and can fit in the palm of your hand. 
They are numbered so that we can keep track of how they are doing. Every day, they get weighed, and the ones that are not doing so well are moved in to their own little quarantine tank.  The rest get to hang out together in bigger tanks.

Today there was one that died, poor little guy, and one that’s refused to eat for two days now. The others are gulping their food down like real little troupers.  In fact, you have to watch it or they will nip at your fingers!

This is what we feed them. Doesn’t it look good? 🙂  A pureed mix of clam, pilchard, and other seafood, set in gelatin.  Has quite a niff to it, but the babies love it.

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