Two Hawksbill sea turtles washed ashore by Cristobal

By Melanie LeCroy
Posted 6/17/20

The Orange Beach Wildlife Center received the first call at 7 a.m. and the second call at 7 p.m. Both turtles were given a full workup and were then transported to the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center in …

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Two Hawksbill sea turtles washed ashore by Cristobal

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The Orange Beach Wildlife Center received the first call at 7 a.m. and the second call at 7 p.m. Both turtles were given a full workup and were then transported to the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center in Fort Walton Beach.

The Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center posted an update Saturday, June 13, on the two turtles they have named Cristobal Lewis and Cristobal Clark.

“The small turtles were slightly lethargic when they arrived but their initial medical examinations did not show any significant abnormalities. Our C.A.R.E. Center team provided supportive fluids and vitamins and the pair are currently in a shallow water habitat to make it easier for them to feed. They weighed in at only 109 and 136 grams.

We are extremely grateful that we can contribute to the survival of this critically endangered species of sea turtle. Hawksbill turtles are commonly found around coral reefs in tropical or subtropical waters. The most significant nesting grounds for Hawksbill adults are located within the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, with rare nesting restricted to the southeast coast of Florida and the Florida Keys, so these two have ventured far from their natural habitats.”

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park has been active in marine animal rescue and rehabilitation for many years. The C.A.R.E. Center was developed in 2015 as a nonprofit to facilitate and further continue coastal conservation efforts. The program has helped to rehabilitate and release various species of sea turtles found on the Gulf Coast, from the Loggerhead, Green, Kemp’s Ridley, to the Leatherback. Over the years hundreds of sea turtles have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild by the Gulfarium.

When a sea turtle patient arrives, it is evaluated by the animal care and veterinary staff using guidelines from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These guidelines give staff the necessary information needed to evaluate a method for rehabilitation, recovery and release.

Occasionally a sea turtle is deemed non-releasable due to medical or physical limitations. These turtles are given a permanent home and full-time care at the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center. 

The Gulfarium is located at 1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. For more information on The Gulfarium, or the C.A.R.E. Center visit www.gulfarium.com/.

For more information regarding The Orange Beach Wildlife Center and Management Program visit their Facebook page. If you would like to support their mission you can do so by donating at https://givebutter.com/give2obw.