The students got to swim with two sea turtles and watched them make out. I missed it. But, I got my turtle time when we went to Phuket.
The Phuket Aquarium is home to a sea turtle nursery and rehab program run by the Thai government. Day one we checked out the nursery. Those are some beautiful, healthy looking turtles. They’re being raised big and strong and then will be released into the wild. So few turtles born in the wild make it to adulthood. Head-starting programs help ensure that more do.
We also watched dolphin and sea turtle necropsies. Fun fact: dissections are done in school for learning purposes. Necropsies are basically autopsies, but for animals. The goal is to figure out why the animal died. A dolphin and sea turtle had washed up on shore (not at the same time), and they couldn’t be rescued. So we watched the vets do a necropsy. Once again, something I never thought I’d ever need or want to see: animal autopsies. I can now say that I have seen the insides of a spinner dolphin and a sea turtle.
I enjoyed day 2 way more than day 1. Day 2 was sea turtle check-up day. We helped weigh and measure 12 sea turtles. We also helped draw blood and administer medicine. Most of these turtles weighed over 100 pounds. And none of them seemed super happy to have us poking and prodding them.
Sea turtle vets for a day!
This one tried to make a run for it.
Now I’m at Elephants World, where we’ll spend 2 weeks learning how to be an elephant vet.