Photo Credit: Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation

The rough seas have thrown Loggerhead Turtle hatchlings off course and washed them ashore; the Turtle Rescue Network has collected them and taken them to the Two Oceans Aquarium.


Cape Town, South Africa (09 April 2024) – The stranded hatchling season has only just begun as we recently reported, but the weekend weather meant 80 little Loggerhead Turtles ended up ashore. The Two Oceans Aquarium (TOA) Foundation’s Turtle Rescue Network collected the hatchlings and delivered them to the care team.

The weather in the Western Cape has been rough, with winds blowing over trees and removing roofs from homes, the oceans have been just as turbulent, with rough seas and currents shifting. Late yesterday, the TOA Foundation received notice that 80 hatchlings had been collected.

These hatchlings are now at the rehabilitation centre but there will likely be more turtles found in the coming days.

“We’ve just been notified by our Turtle Rescue Network that 80 loggerhead turtles have been rescued after washing up in the recent storms and are on their way to the @aquariumfoundation’s Turtle Conservation Centre for immediate care.

Locals can help the team by dropping off cleaned, empty ice cream containers at the Two Oceans Aquarium front desk. Ice cream containers are used to isolate the hatchlings during their initial period of intensive care, and are also the perfect containers to be used for transport of the hatchlings after they are rescued.

If you visit the coast in the Western Cape, please be on the lookout for stranded hatchlings and contact us immediately to facilitate a rescue.”

Hatchling Season

The Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation started preparing for Turtle Hatchling Season back in January, and the first rescues will most likely arrive very soon.

So many of these hatchlings wash up on the Western Cape coastlines because when they are born on the Northern Beaches in KwaZulu-Natal, they make their way into the ocean and towards the warm Agulhas current.

If a hatchling is lucky, it will be carried by the Agulhas Current as it turns east off the coast of the Western Cape and out into the warm Indian Ocean. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy for the tiny hatchlings, and many of them are ejected from the Agulhas Current into the cold water of the Atlantic. This water is too cold for these hatchlings to survive. They get gradually weaker and weaker as they try to return to the Agulhas – an effort that is made increasingly difficult in bad weather, barnacles taking over the little body or if the turtle has been harmed by ingesting plastic pollution.

These weakened hatchlings inevitably wash up on the Western Cape’s coast, and without human intervention, they have no chance of surviving. We have a responsibility to help these animals.

The hatchlings that wash up in the Western Cape are all taken to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Once they have been rehabilitated and are healthy enough, they are released back into the ocean.

If you would like to help the team, you can do so here.

Sources: TOA
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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