A sea turtle sensation

08/23/2010  | 
teaching through travel

Located in the heart of a city that has rescued countless buildings and structures, a new type of history is being saved: endangered sea turtles. A trip to Charleston’s #1 attraction, the South Carolina Aquarium, and visitors will see firsthand the magic of our beloved reptiles of the sea. The Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital, South Carolina’s only sea turtle rehabilitation center, provides injured sea turtles a second chance at survival. For those who get a chance to see it, a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Turtle Hospital will provide visitors with one of the most unique and unforgettable experiences.

The Turtle Hospital is a safe haven for turtles requiring medical attention and rehabilitative care. Stranded sea turtles are rescued by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and brought to the hospital where South Carolina Aquarium’s staff and resident veterinarian work to diagnose each turtle, provide treatment and plan for the turtle’s recovery. Patients arrive at the Turtle Hospital with a variety of ailments and injuries from both natural and human-related causes, including boat and vessel strikes, marine debris entanglement, illness from pollution in the waters, infections and other ailments.

Turtle Hospital staff provide rescued turtles with daily care including IV fluids, antibiotics, vitamins and other medications and treatments. Once a turtle is deemed healthy enough to survive on its own it is taken to a local beach to be returned to the ocean, where it can rejoin the sea turtle population and help create new sea turtles. Since its opening, the Turtle Hospital has successfully released over 50 sea turtles back into the wild.

A step inside the busy facility offers visitors the rare chance to see rescued turtles recovering from injuries, hear stories of released patients and learn more about protecting these endangered animals. Group tours of the Sea Turtle Hospital are popular with visitors of all ages. A trip to one of the Southeast’s most beautiful cities isn’t complete without a visit to South Carolina’s only Sea Turtle Hospital.

The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s most visited attraction, offers valuable benefits to student groups including: standards-based curriculum, classroom activities, free on-site motorcoach or bus parking, express entry, group orientation and special programs, such as the Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital. The Aquarium features thousands of amazing aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in more than 60 exhibits representing the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. The Aquarium also features a 4-D Immersion Theater, allowing students to experience nature in way never seen, or felt, before. The Aquarium presents fabulous views of Charleston harbor and memories never forgotten by any school group.

To book a Student Group or for more information call 800-722-6455, email: [email protected] or visit www.scaquarium.org.
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