Special animals require special equipment, and thanks to a pair of grants from local community foundations, Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital will be even better equipped to serve the region’s turtle patients.
Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Manatee Community Foundation have each provided support for a new, specialized surgical table for us at Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. Designed for animals weighing up to a thousand pounds, the surgical table will improve Mote’s ability to perform critical procedures for sea turtles. Mote treats patients suffering from boat strike, fishing gear entanglement and ingestion, cold stun events, fibropapilloma tumors, and much more.
“While we make use of any equipment we’re able to get our hands on, including sometimes using donated hospital equipment, there are some tools that need to be designed for larger animals,” said Mote’s Medical Care & Rehabilitation Manager Lynne Byrd. “We’re grateful that Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Manatee Community Foundation both provided support to buy this life-saving equipment.”
Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital has seen nearly 1,000 turtle patients since it opened in the 1990s, and averages around 45 patients per year. Many patients are loggerhead sea turtles, which also happens to be the most common nester in the southwest Florida region. Byrd continued, “Our region’s nesting loggerhead population is one of the largest in the Gulf of Mexico, so it’s vitally important we save every turtle we can so they can go on to contribute to their species’ survival.”
Turtles suffering from fibropapilloma tumors also receive surgical care at Mote, one of the few hospitals in the state with special facilities and expertise to treat this debilitating disease. Nearly exclusively affecting juvenile green turtles, these tumors grow both externally and internally, but when removed, the turtle has the potential to make a full recovery.
Learn more about Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, and meet current patients, at mote.org/hospital.
See a stranded, sick or deceased sea turtle in Sarasota and Manatee counties? Call Mote’s Stranding Investigations 24/7 hotline at 888-345-2335.
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