turtle hospital

The Turtle Hospital on the island of Marathon in the Florida Keys is home to about fifty rescued turtles.   Many are victims of boating accidents and are missing limbs or have severe damage to their shells.  Most of them will recover and be released back into the wild, but there are seven or eight permanent residents that wouldn't be able to fend for themselves if released.   

Drawing blood from a new patient

Oftentimes, propeller damage to shells causes gas to build up underneath the turtle's shell and makes it impossible for the turtle to dive.  Most of the permanent residents suffered from this condition, accurately dubbed "bubble butt" by volunteers at the hospital.

When tourists visit, the permanent residents know they'll get treats and beeline for the crowd.

Baby turtle!

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