Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital

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A Sea Turtle's Incredible Story
On Memorial Day 2013, Mote's Stranding Investigations Program rescued a nearly 300-pound loggerhead sea turtle named Murph. This turtle had been tethered to something underwater for at least a week before he could be rescued. Upon undertaking the effort to save the animal, Mote staff members found he suffered from a number of fishing gear-related entanglements, including line that had wrapped around his flippers and cut through tissue all the way to the bone.
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After rescuing this turtle, which was nicknamed Murph in honor of a Navy lieutenant killed in battle, the team brought him to Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital, a hospital created to help save threatened and endangered sea turtles and return them to the wild. The Hospital typically treats hundreds of turtles a year, providing medical care that allows them to survive and return to the wild.

Just before Murph was returned to the wild in October 2013, he was outfitted with a satellite transmitter that allowed scientists in Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program to follow his travels at sea. Not only does the tag help us evaluate how well an individual animal does after release, it also allows us to learn more about how these animals live in the wild.

Mote's goals go beyond just helping individual animals. The fact that Mote is invested in rescuing, providing critical rehabilitative care and doing scientific research, allows us the unique ability to combine information from multiple sources about the lives and deaths of individual animals like Murph and apply it to help restore and protect whole populations of endangered and threatened species. Few organizations nationwide can claim such a comprehensive effort for sea turtles, let alone the numerous other species that Mote works with.

Declines in funding put programs like this in jeopardy. That matters. According to a recent study from the Florida Ocean Alliance, ocean-oriented tourism generates $8 billion for the state’s economy. Without organizations like Mote Marine Laboratory focused on the health and conservation of our marine animals and habitats, we will all suffer.


Don't hide inside your shell
More sick turtles than ever before are being brought to Mote for treatment. We can't ignore that. Nor can we ignore the fact that we desperately need your financial support to help them. Please donate today.