Today is World Turtle Day, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about these majestic creatures and how we can help them.
At the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Center in Charleston, South Carolina, every day is turtle day. The staff at this center are cape-less heroes to sea turtles that are injured, ill or generally in need of help, rehabilitating the animals until they are strong enough to return to the ocean.
Now, in celebration of World Turtle Day, you can step into their shoes with Smithsonian Earth‘s Sea Turtle Rescue. The 6-part series follows the journey of several turtles, from their initial arrival at the center, through their recovery and to the beautiful moment of their release back into the wild. Viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at the tireless work and care rescuers offer to each sea turtle at one of the busiest sea turtle emergency rooms in the country.
Featured turtles to look out for include Glenn, a center favorite. This critically-endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtle arrived at the center after being injured by a ship that was dredging the ocean waters. Burdened with several severe health problems from the accident, Glenn still manages to fight for his life and impress the veteran rescues of the turtle hospital.
Sumter is another teacher’s pets, winning the hearts of several center staff members. The loggerhead came to the center suffering from debilitated turtle syndrome, similar to human pneumonia, but rescuers soon realized she was dealing with another issue. Sumter is one of numerous loggerheads that are mysteriously losing their sight. To help heal the turtle’s other issue, the center took her to get cataract surgery so she could regain enough sight to be released back into the ocean.
These are a few of the turtles you can expect to see on Sea Turtle Rescue, a perfect way to learn about all the different turtles out in the world on the day created just for that purpose.
Sea Turtle Rescue begins streaming on May 23 on Smithsonian Earth and is available on Apple, Roku, Amazon, and at SmithsonianEarthTV.com.