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Hatchling being cleaned

A hatchling is cleaned with saline solution.

Yesterday morning, 20 premature green sea turtle hatchlings arrived at our Sea Turtle Healing Center. These tiny patients were greeted with visual examinations, thorough cleaning to ward off infection and a cozy nest of damp paper towels.

Beach erosion caused by Hurricane Dorian left their Melbourne Beach nest exposed and more vulnerable to predators like raccoons and foxes. Because they were not able to incubate to full-term, these sea turtles are very weak; some of the hatchlings even arrived with their yolk sacs still attached!

Once these little guys are approved for release, they will be placed on the sand to make their way to the ocean.

By taking in these endangered sea turtles, we are able to give them a second chance on their journey and, ideally, reach the safety of the Sargassum.

Sea turtles of every size (and their eggs) are protected at the state and federal levels, and it is illegal to touch them. If you find a sea turtle in need, you should contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC or Sea Turtle Preservation Society (in Brevard County only) at 321-206-0646 for instructions.