Featured Image Credit: SC Aquarium
By Kira Krall
Construction of a $5 million sea turtle hospital at the South Carolina Aquarium, located in the heart of downtown Charleston, is officially underway! Sea turtles are currently being treated in the basement of the Aquarium, where there’s not enough space for all the turtles that need help. This new facility is scheduled to open in 2017 with expanded treatment centers and a brand new educational opportunity in tow. The aquarium guests will finally be allowed to observe the rehabilitation process.
Typically, the sick or injured animals that are brought in to the treatment center are off-limits to the public eye. Noise, excessive movement and crowding can easily push the already stressed out animal into an instant panic. Increased levels of stress can seriously hinder the recovery process.
However, the Charleston Aquarium has conjured up a way to balance human curiosity and the turtles’ needs as patients. Some treatment areas will be fitted with soundproofing equipment and one-way glass, so Aquarium visitors can actually see how the turtles are cared for.
Many aquariums are choosing to live-stream the care process from rehab rooms, but the one-way glass method is a much less complicated option. The chosen method also lets more people get a peek compared to the traditional behind-the-scenes tour. The experience will connect thousands of visitors per year with real wildlife and real rehabilitation methods.
The new Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery Center will also include exhibits and interactive areas that educate guests on the threats to sea turtles like marine debris, water quality and plastic consumption.
Watch the video below to hear more about the project from South Carolina Aquarium staff and donors. You can also visit their sea turtle recovery page here.