Mayonnaise is saving sea turtles after an oil spill in Israel

February 25, 2021 by  
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An unlikely hero is emerging in Israel’s fight to save sea turtles from one of the country’s worst ecological disasters. Mayonnaise is making the difference between life and death for some turtles affected by the estimated 1,000 tons of tar washing up on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. North of Tel Aviv, at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center in Michmoret, medical assistant Guy Ivgy is helping to treat 11 turtles. “They came to us full of tar,” Ivgy said . “All their trachea from inside and outside was full of tar.” Turtle rescue workers have found that feeding the fatty, egg-based condiment to the turtles helps flush out their tar-clogged digestive tracks. Within a week or two, workers hope to release the turtles back into the wild. Related: Volunteers brave winter storm to save cold-stunned sea turtles The source of all this tar is still shrouded in mystery. It likely came from an oil tanker passing the Israeli coast a week or so ago. Israeli officials think that a ship spilled tens — or maybe even hundreds — of tons of oil outside Israel’s territorial waters. Then, without warning, chunks of tar starting washing up on the beaches of Israel and Lebanon. Because tar irritates human skin and can cause illness, people have been warned to stay off beaches — except for the 4,000 or so volunteers doing the cleanup to minimize damage to wildlife. The spill’s “consequences will be seen for years to come,” according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Sea birds and other animals in the Mediterranean have also ingested spilled oil. Scientists are especially worried about Dendropoma petraeum , a type of reef-building snail whose population has already plummeted from global warming . Earlier this week, an Israeli court forbade publishing any details of the investigation, including the name of the suspected ship and its itinerary. Israeli journalists have petitioned the court to lift the ban. People want to know who is responsible for this destruction — and where to send the bill. Via AP and NPR Image via Kandhal Keshvala

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Mayonnaise is saving sea turtles after an oil spill in Israel

Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

August 28, 2019 by  
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Gwyneth stands upright, supported by one member of her medical team as another scrapes away what looks like blue cotton candy from the cracks in her shell with a pointed metal tool. The yellow slider is stoic, silently opening her mouth, whether wishing to bite or scream. Gwyneth is a turtle, one who has endured a lot of medical attention at the Georgia Sea Turtle Rescue Center since being hit by a car on Jekyll Island. The impact fractured both her carapace and her plastron — her top and bottom shells. The guide on the behind the scenes tour, AmeriCorps worker Stacia Dwelle, explains that the blue stuff is bioglass and costs $175 for a small jar. It works “like scaffolding for the tissue in the fracture site,” she says. Other treatments are lower tech and lower cost, such as the jug of honey and chunks of honeycomb the staff use for its antimicrobial value. Related: Small cruise line treats the whole world as one ocean While the hospital is called the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, they don’t discriminate here. The fully functioning center cares for any type of injured turtle and also works on other reptiles and birds . Public Awareness and Education The center’s founder, Dr. Terry Norton, grew up in Utah far from sea turtles, but his affection for reptiles grew during his residency in Gainesville, Florida. In the early 2000s, Norton worked on Saint Catherine’s Island, 40 miles north of Jekyll. Part of his wildlife health program was developing a global assessment of sea turtle health. He saw the need for a sea turtle hospital on the Georgia coast and opened the Jekyll Island facility in 2007. Since then, he and his staff have treated more than 3,000 patients and welcome 100,000 visitors annually. Why involve the public in turtle medical care? The center “wanted to raise awareness and educate the public as well,” says Dwelle. Five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles swim through waters along Georgia’s 100 mile coastline, all either threatened or endangered . Jekyll Island is prime nesting territory, especially for the Loggerhead sea turtle. Leatherbacks and Green sea turtles occasionally nest here. Kemp’s Ridley and Hawksbill turtles also pass through Georgia waters. This year, center staff identified 198 loggerhead nests on the island, with about 120 eggs in each nest. During July and August, the hatchlings fight their way out of their shells, then pour out of nests on the beach and trek to the sea just before sunrise. Most visitors to the turtle center opt for the $9 ticket, which gets them into an exhibit area with interactive displays. They can peer through a large microscope and learn about trash in the ocean. They can also visit the rehab area, a sultry building full of turtles in tubs or look through a window into the medical treatment room. Behind the Scenes in the Hospital Devoted turtle lovers— and those with a little more cash to spend on their travels— can join one of the other tours the center offers. Depending on the month, visitors may be able to accompany staff to nesting sites at night or in the early morning, and there’s a sea turtle camp for kids. Instead of watching the treatment from behind glass, groups of six can stand right in the treatment room and watch Dr. Norton assess turtles. Visitors can also learn about the nebulization chamber where snakes with fungal infections inhale a mist of medicine . Most of the center’s patients stay two to six months before being released. The staff here sometimes give future turtles a helping hand by transferring wild-laid eggs into an incubator. This is especially true when turtles lay their eggs too close to the road on the causeway that connects Jekyll Island to the mainland. The causeway is “a high, dry place those ladies like to look to build their nests,” says Dwelle. “But unfortunately, who else is out there on the causeway? We are. In our cars.” Human transportation is hard on turtles. While on land, they risk being hit by car but in the sea, boat strikes are a top hazard. The center also participates in other reptile-related projects, such as radio-tracking the island’s Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes. Turtle Gourmets “So our sea turtles might be eating better than us,” says Dwelle serving the turtles mackerel, shrimp and blue crab, which is considerably restaurant -quality seafood. New patients get their food filleted for them but once they’re stronger they get whole seafood and live fiddler crabs just before being released. Staff arrange greens in a PVC pipe with holes cut out, which they sink to the bottom of turtle tubs. This way the patients remember to look for seagrass on the ocean floor when they eventually return to the sea. Each turtle gets a personalized diet, sometimes fortified with special vitamins and calcium. Helping Turtles Many of the hospitalized turtles could easily have escaped injury if humans had been more careful. Keeping your distance from nests ensure that hatchlings stand a better chance at survival. And most importantly, don’t litter. “When you’re on the beach, be careful with fishing lines,” says Mary Van Gundy, a volunteer vet technician at the center. “Make sure you gather them up and throw them away.” She’s amazed by the trash she finds, especially cigarette butts. Slowing down, whether in a boat or a car, will prevent many accidents. Maybe that’s what the stoic Gwyneth is trying to tell me as she silently opens her mouth. Images via Inhabitat

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Behind the scenes at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Gorgeous modern Kew House is clad in prefab weathering steel

July 14, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous modern Kew House is clad in prefab weathering steel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2015 RIBA London Award , CNC Mill , Kew Green Conservation Area , Kew House , Kew House by Piercy&Company , natural light , Piercy&Company , pitch roof , Prefab , RIBA , RIBA award , stable walls , weathered steel

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Gorgeous modern Kew House is clad in prefab weathering steel

The Week in Animal News: Miracle Turtles, Taking a Bite Out of Shark Week, and More (Slideshow)

August 5, 2011 by  
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Photo: edanley /Creative Commons Last year, a sea turtle was discovered on a sandbar clinging to life after its body was split by the propellers of boats. It might have seemed futile to try and save the animal, but a team of veterinarians did anyways — and now, after a hard-fought recovery, the sea turtle is heading home with a patched shell and a new chance at life. Read more about the turtle’s miraculous recovery — plus stories of endangered sharks, tiger meat served up to a television reporter, people-watching whales,… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The Week in Animal News: Miracle Turtles, Taking a Bite Out of Shark Week, and More (Slideshow)

Last Call (At Last) for Ukraine’s Vodka-Drinking Bears

August 5, 2011 by  
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Bears belong outside. Photo: Peter Mulligan / Creative Commons . Some bars have a pool table or a dart board to entertain customers. Others might have a bunch of flat-screen TVs, or even a mechanical bull. In Ukraine , dozens of drinking establishments have a bear. A real, live bear. That gets forced to drink

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Last Call (At Last) for Ukraine’s Vodka-Drinking Bears

Iguana Showers and Frozen Sea Turtle Rescue in Frigid Florida

January 9, 2010 by  
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A cold stunned endangered green turtle is kept warm at SeaWorld Orlando. Photo by Jason Collier courtesy of PRNewsFoto/SeaWorld The severe weather hitting the South has sent a cold snap to the Sunshine State, leaving iguanas paralyzed and falling out of trees.

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Iguana Showers and Frozen Sea Turtle Rescue in Frigid Florida

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