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December 1, 2014…… From late November through December, the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter conducts an annual breeder health survey to evaluate and monitor the health of its breeding turtles.
This is a survey during which each turtle is carefully removed from the Breeding Pond in a special lifting cage for the Centre resident Veterinarian to perform a medical examination. Once a turtle is examined, he or she is “painted” with a temporary non-toxic animal marker to show that he or she has already been checked.
For each turtle, the Centre records weight, length, perform an exam, takes blood samples, and takes genetic samples. The Centre also takes this opportunity to replace flipper tags and record size data. This is done for every one of them individually – over 300 turtles in all.
The breeder turtles range in age from around 16 to 55 years, and weigh typically between 250 to 500 pounds.
The annual health survey is an important part of the Centre caring for the animals, to regularly monitor their health and check for any hidden problems.
Checking them in this way during the nesting season could affect egg production, so the Centre commences the survey immediately after the end of the breeding and nesting season each November.
For more information and admission rates, call the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter on 949-3894, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.turtle.ky