Featured Image Credit: The Jekyll Island Authority and HSP Media
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island turns 10 years old this month and will celebrate the milestone all month long with a calendar of special events.
Founder and director of the Turtle Center, Terry Norton, was a veterinarian out on St. Catherine’s Island for the Wildlife Conservation Society during 2001, and noticed that there wasn’t a rehab center anywhere in the state of Georgia to take the injured turtles and other wildlife. That’s when the idea of opening a clinic struck Norton.
“We started seeing ill and injured animals and there was no place to take them in the state,” he said.
Until the center had opened, Norton partnered with colleagues from the Department of Natural Resources to get the turtles treated with the care they needed, and then later placed them in places like the South Carolina Aquarium or SeaWorld in Florida.
Since the opening of the center, Norton and his team have rescued over 3,000 animal lives and rehabilitated 24 species in total, including turtles, snakes, alligators and birds. The centers main priority is taking good care of each animal and giving it a name, too! Like Buzz, a young green turtle treated back in 2013. Check out his story here.
This is all possible with a 1.9 million dollar annual budget the center gets from admission, gift shop sales, and donations through the nonprofit Jekyll Island Foundation along with 13 paid staff members.
For more information about the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the tenth anniversary party, please click here.