Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital | NC Weekend | UNC-TV


>>Deborah: WELCOME TO “NORTH
CAROLINA WEEKEND.” I’M DEBORAH HOLT NOEL. TOURISTS AREN’T THE ONLY
CREATURES THAT FLOCK TO THE BEACH IN THE SUMMER. SO DO SEA TURTLES, AND SOME OF
THEM END UP SICK OR INJURED. THAT’S THE MISSION OF THE KAREN
BEASLEY SEA TURTLE RESCUE AND REHABILITATION CENTER IN SURF
CITY, AND A VISIT THERE MIGHT BE THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TRIP
TO THE BEACH.>>THE TURTLES APPEAR TO PLAY
HIDE AND SEEK IN THEIR TANKS AS CURIOUS CROWDS LINE UP OUTSIDE.>>HEY, WELCOME TO
TURTLE HOSPITAL.>>THE KAREN BEASLEY RESCUE AND
REHAB CENTER IS A PLACE WHERE INJURED PATIENTS ARE NURSED BACK
TO HEALTH AND VISITORS GET A CLOSER LOOK AT THE
SEA CREATURES.>>WELL, WE WANTED SOMETHING TO
DO, AND WE THOUGHT THE TURTLE HOSPITAL WOULD BE REALLY COOL,
AND WE ALL LOVE TURTLES.>>AND WE CAME TO VISIT THE
TURTLE HOSPITAL PROBABLY ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO WHEN IT WAS IN THE
OTHER LOCATION. IT WAS ONE ROOM. SO WE WANTED TO SEE THE NEWEST
AND GREATEST, YOU KNOW, EXTENSION OF IT. IT’S REALLY IMPRESSIVE.>>SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? THEY’VE COME A LONG WAY.>>I KNOW. AND THEY’VE SAVED
SO MANY TURTLES.>>THE OLD HOSPITAL WAS TINY AND
RARELY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. THE NEW FACILITY AVERAGED 5,000
GUESTS A WEEK DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE SUMMER SEASON 2014.>>IT’S A WONDERFUL
THING TO SEE. UH, MOST OF US HAD NO IDEA ABOUT
SEA TURTLES, THE SIZE OF THEM, THAT THEY GO UP TO 500 POUNDS.>>IT TAKES ABOUT AN HOUR TO
TAKE THE SELF-GUIDED TOUR WHERE VOLUNTEERS ANSWER QUESTIONS
ALONG THE WAY.>>A MOM CAN COME UP ANYWHERE
BETWEEN ONE, THREE, OR SEVEN TIMES DURING THE COURSE
OF A NESTING SEASON. ABSOLUTELY. YEAH. IT’S TOUGH WORK, BUT SHE’S
DETERMINED TO GET THOSE EGGS LAID.>>LIKE A POT OVERFLOWING, THE
BABIES EMERGE INTO WHAT’S CALLED A BOIL, BUT ONLY ABOUT ONE IN
5,000 LIVE TO BECOME ADULTS.>>FIRST OF ALL, THEY START OUT
AS LITTLE EGGS, AND THEN THEY, LIKE, HATCH THEM, AND THEY’RE
LITTLE TURTLES. AND THEN THE TURTLES, LIKE, RUN
AROUND AND LOOK FOR FOOD.>>SO THE ROOM THAT YOU’RE
LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW IS SICK SEA TURTLE BAY. THAT’S WHERE TURTLES COME IN
WHEN THEY’RE FIRST SICK OR INJURED. THEY HAVE TO BE IN HERE
QUARANTINED FOR A WHILE ACCORDING TO FEDERAL LAW.>>THROUGH THE WINDOWS AT SICK
BAY, GUESTS CAN WATCH AS INTERNS TREAT THE TURTLES’ WOUNDS. GEO HAS A DAMAGED SHELL.>>IF YOU CAN TAKE A LOOK UP
HERE AT THE TOP OF HIS CARAPACE, THIS HERE, UM, IS RAW BONE.>>GEO IS A KEMP RIDLEY, THE
SMALLEST AND MOST ENDANGERED OF THE SEA TURTLES. THE HOSPITAL ALSO TREATS
LOGGERHEADS AND GREEN SEA TURTLES.>>WE NEED — WE NEED
TO PROTECT THEM. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T
REALIZE HOW AMAZING THEY ARE UNTIL THEY ACTUALLY SEE
THEM IN PERSON.>>ENVIRONMENTAL DANGERS LIKE
TRASH OR POLLUTION ARE OFTEN TO BLAME FOR THE INJURIES. THE TURTLES’ EYESIGHT IS SO
POOR, THEY FREQUENTLY INGEST FOREIGN OBJECTS. SO AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, A
RESCUE CALL CAME IN WHILE WE WERE HERE AT THE HOSPITAL
SHOOTING, SO NOW WE’RE OFF WITH THE VOLUNTEERS TO SEE
WHAT CAN BE DONE. THIS CALL FOR HELP FROM A
GROUP ON VACATION. THEY SAW THE TURTLE IN DISTRESS
AND PULLED HIM FROM THE WATER.>>YEP, THAT WAS WRAPPED
AROUND BACK FLIPPERS.>>TANGLED IN OLD FISHING LINE,
RESCUERS SUSPECT THE KEMP RIDLEY SWALLOWED A FISH HOOK. LIKE THE OTHER WOUNDED TURTLES,
THIS ONE WILL STAY IN ICU UNTIL HE IS STRONG ENOUGH FOR REHAB
IN TURTLE BAY.>>LOOK AT HOW BIG HIS SHELL IS.>>SOME WITH PERMANENT DAMAGE
WILL WIND UP IN AQUARIUMS, BUT THE REAL GOAL IS TO RELEASE THE
TURTLES BACK INTO THE OCEAN.>>IT IS THE MOST MAGICAL
FEELING TO SEE THEM MAKE THEIR FIRST, UH, LIKE FLIPPER STROKES
AND HEAD OUT TO THE WATER. AND, UM, WE ALWAYS WATCH TO SEE
THEIR HEAD COME UP, BECAUSE AS SOON AS THEY GET IN THERE, THEIR
HEAD WILL POP UP AFTER THEY’VE BEEN UNDER FOR A SECOND OR TWO. AND, UM, THE LOOK ON THEIR
FACE IS INCREDIBLE.>>I THINK YOU’LL GET AN
EXPERIENCE HERE THAT IS UNIQUE. YOU’LL MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS AND
SEE THEIR PASSION AND LOVE FOR THESE ANIMALS, AND YOU’LL SEE
WHAT A VERY DEDICATED GROUP OF LITTLE OLD LADIES IN TENNIS
SHOES AND YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS AND ALL AGES, MEN WHO’VE RETIRED
FROM BIG CORPORATE JOBS, ALL HERE FOR THE SAME REASON, FOR
THE LOVE OF THE TURTLES.

2 thoughts on “Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Hospital | NC Weekend | UNC-TV

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *