Each animal is unique, so their stay at the Aquarium can range from a few months to years.
In order to be released, animals must pass a series of tests. The first of which being a full medical exam. The animal’s health is paramount, so they need to be clear of illness or disease and off medications for at least two weeks.
Equally important, the patients in rehab must pass behavioral tests prior to release. These ensure that turtles, seals, and other mammals are equipped with the natural behaviors necessary for survival. Skills include hunting and foraging skills, along with being wary of human interaction.
Once an animal pass all necessary tests, the rescue and rehab team starts planning the release. Locations are carefully selected and depend on the time of year and the animal’s specific needs. If a turtle needs warm waters to be released, the team will safely transport him or her as far as Florida to ensure a proper release.
Stay tuned for more posts this week in honor of our Animal Rescue program’s 25th anniversary!