The Loggerhead Marinelife CenterSeptember 27th, 2008 by Dan Bodenstein
Off of A1A along the shoreline of Juno Beach is the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Every year loggerhead and leatherback turtles are brought her for medical attention and care. The center is dedicated to not only protecting adult loggerhead turtles, but is also active in protecting the nests of these beautiful animals along Florida’s beaches.
A few months ago, I had the privilege of meeting one of its residents, a loggerhead turtle named Eartha. Eartha has to be the most photogenic loggerhead in the world. She would constantly swim up to the glass window of her tank, and even raise her head above the water to say hi. Back when I first met Eartha, my wife Cindy was in Michigan. Since then I had one of the photos I took of Eartha, blown up to 16×20 and it’s hanging in our living room. Today, Cindy got to meet Eartha.
Today Eartha was moving to a different tank. We arrived at the center just at the right time. Caregivers and volunteers lifted Eartha out of her current tank and carried her to her new temporary home.
At 85 pounds, that’s a lot of turtle to haul.
While outside of her tank, I was allowed to get close and take a few pictures. I had to act fast because she was fidgeting. At one point Eartha even covered her face with her flipper as if to mimic a celebrity avoiding paparazzi.
The caregivers carried her to her new tank, and she immediately swam to her window to see what new sights she could see from her new location.
Eartha is one of many loggerheads temporarily housed at the center for rehabilitation. She arrived on April 22nd, 2008. she was anemic and showed signs of an infection.
The center treated her and was planning on releasing her soon. But, Eartha decided to swallow her flipper tag on August 28th. She finally recently “passed” it, and is eligible for release again soon.We are hoping to be able to know when she will be released so we can capture it on film and say good bye to her.