Meet Snorkel – Blind Sea Turtle Finds Forever Home at Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Updated Dec 21, 2018 | Posted Dec 21, 2018
New Permanent Resident Arrives at CMA for the Holidays
Clearwater Marine Aquarium welcomes Snorkel, a rescued loggerhead sea turtle, home for the holidays as a new permanent resident. The small sea turtle is blind and missing parts of her nose and jaw; therefore she is unable to be released back into the wild.
The juvenile loggerhead was found as a “washback,” a term used to describe a baby sea turtle that washed ashore due to heavy winds and surf. Snorkel was found with damage to her upper beak and both eyes due to unknown trauma.
She was given the name “Snorkel” because of the various tubes used to allow for her to breathe and heal during the rehabilitation process. She has recovered from the injuries, but developed some significant physical abnormalities as healing occurred. Snorkel is missing both nasal openings, the upper jaw, and is blind. She has been deemed non-releasable by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and has become a permanent resident of the CMA family.
“Just like Winter the dolphin, Snorkel has inspired our team and guests tremendously through her survival and recovery,” says David Yates, CEO of CMA. “Our goal is for the animals we rescue to return to the wild, but that’s not always possible. We are thrilled to offer Snorkel a forever home where she will be well loved and cared for.”
Specialized Care for Blind Sea Turtle
The expectation is that Snorkel will do well living as a permanent resident at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Although blind, Snorkel does respond quite well to tactile interaction. Our team will be seen interacting in a very different way than we do with our other sea turtles to ensure the highest standard of care for Snorkel. Remember, these animals are federally protected, and our care is specialized to ensure each animal continues to live a happy and healthy life with us.
Guests can come welcome Snorkel home for the holidays at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Ticket proceeds directly fund the care of our resident animals, like Snorkel.
It is not recommended that you interact with sea turtles in the same manner you may see our team interacting with Snorkel. You may see these animals in the wild, in fact, this species actually come to lay eggs producing thousands of hatchlings (baby sea turtles) on our beaches each year from May through October! You can assist in the success of the sea turtle population by making sure you pick up trash off the beach, keep the beaches dark from artificial light, and call Clearwater Marine Aquarium, 727-441-1790 ext. 1, if you notice a sea turtle in distress!
All marine turtle footage taken in Florida was obtained with the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) under conditions not harmful to marine turtles. Footage was acquired while conducting authorized conservation activities pursuant to FWC MTP-18-172.