Turtle Hatchlinghs
Photo Credit: Two Oceans Aquarium

The Cape of Storms has lived up to its name, and now residents are picking up the pieces, down to the littlest and most helpless friends—our turtle hatchlings. 240 have been rescued, and they need our help for a chance at surviving!


Cape Town, South Africa (11 April 2024) — After the Western Cape braved itself against the hectic force of Mother Nature’s serious storms and fierce winds these past few days, residents all over the province are now dealing with the aftermath, including the smallest and most helpless friends, like our turtle hatchlings.

Earlier this week, we reported that many turtle hatchlings had been thrown off course due to the Cape of Storms living up to its name, meaning hatchling season has been off to a rocky start.

An initial 80 little Loggerhead Turtles ended up ashore, and now the number of rescued turtles has increased to 240 Loggeehead and Leatherback babies.

The Two Oceans Aquarium’s Turtle Conservation Centre has had all hands on deck to make sure the turtle hatchlings will have a fighting chance, but they need our help.

In general, hatchlings that wash up on shore of the Western are extremely vulnerable, even without storms to make matters harder (you can read more about stranding season here).

This is because of how their bodies have weakened from the journey beginning along the Northern Beaches in KwaZulu-Natal. Ideally, hatchlings travel along the warmth of the Agulhas Current and reach the Indian Ocean. But, many get thrown out of the current and into the cold waters of the Atlantic. This tiresome battle to get back en route to the Agulhas Current leads to a lot of exhaustion and, often, a wash-up along the Western Cape’s shore. Once this happens, and the baby turtles are stranded, they need human intervention if they are to have a chance at survival. Now, throw storms and strong wings into the mix!

The Two Oceans Aquarium (TOA) is asking for the public to intervene,  they are looking for the following:

  • Permanent Markers
  • Sponges
  • Hard brushes
  • 150W aquarium heaters
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • Whiteboard
  • Tape (duct tape)
  • Foam blocks
  • Rulers
  • Spray bottles
  • Plastic containers with lids (larger than 18 litres is ideal)
  • Paper towels

“The hatchlings are emaciated, injured, and in dire need of our help. Rehabilitating a single hatchling costs roughly R10 000—no small ask. Yet, this contribution keeps the little patient alive: From feeding it a healthy diet, keeping it warm in clean saltwater, and maintaining life support to veterinary treatment for injuries and illness,” says the TOA.

“Eventually this contribution will take the little turtle all the way home—when it has regained its strength and is ready to greet the big blue once more, our team releases this hatchling to its ocean home.”

You can make a financial contribution here, or get in touch with Claudine on 083 624 0320 to assist with any of the above items.

Sources: TOA 
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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