Turtle conservation faces financial challenge amid record hatchlings

Posted on 16 April 2024 By Savanna Douglas

The Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation is facing an unprecedented challenge as they care for over 300 stranded turtle hatchlings, requiring more than R3 million to support their rehabilitation and release back into the ocean.

This surge in hatchlings, three times the expected annual number, was a result of the recent storm that struck the Western Cape, washing these tiny creatures ashore.

Each hatchling requires meticulous care, costing around R10 000 over six to eight months, including special diets, medical attention and constant monitoring of water quality and temperature.

This task involves a dedicated team of staff, veterinary surgeons and numerous volunteers at the Turtle Conservation Centre.

To support this vital effort, the foundation has initiated a fundraising campaign on GivenGain, which has garnered nearly R165 000 by Friday noon, but significantly more is needed.

Ann Lamont, the executive chair of the foundation, highlighted the escalating challenges faced by marine life due to climate change and pollution, emphasising the critical role of turtle conservation in ocean health.

Looking ahead, the Turtle Conservation Centre anticipates the need for expanded facilities and resources to accommodate the growing number of stranded turtles.

Plans are underway to relocate to a new facility by 2026, supported by the V&A Waterfront, with an estimated cost ranging from R30 million to R50 million.

The significance of turtle conservation extends beyond individual species, as these creatures play a vital role in maintaining ocean ecosystems.

Article written by Jules Keohane for Cape Town ETC. 

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