In the wild, sea turtle hatchlings face many natural threats and fewer than one in 500 sea turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood.

Baby loggerhead turtles wash up on the beaches around the Western Cape, thousands of kilometers from where they were hatched along the northern coast of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa. Strong winds, rough seas, and cold water currents push some of the tiny turtles into the colder surrounding waters where they go into cold shock and hypothermia. Hopefully, these exhausted and often injured little turtles are found by beachgoers and taken to the Two Oceans Aquarium where specialists care for them until they are ready to be released and continue with their life at sea.

With a passion for nature conservation and backed by WREN’s B-corp motto to “use business as a force for good”,  we wanted to know more and what we could do at WREN to help. 

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Through a special door the staff of The Two Oceans Aquarium took Wendren and her two girls, Philippa and Caroline to the rooftop above the ocean tanks to where the turtle “hatchlings” are taken care of.  It was a rainy day so all of the turtles were under tarpaulin blankets to keep them warm. Under each cover was a story – lots of hatchlings seperated and carefully monitored with their individual “progress report card” and then some larger turtles in long term recovery.

A hide used as an enrichment activity of green turtle scaled

At the Conservation Center there are also larger turtles who are taken care of until they are strong enough to be released in the ocean again.

New hatcling arrival being weighed scaled

The smallest hatchling found this season was 17g

Goose barnacles on a new arrival these grow on turtle adrift in open ocean

Sometimes the hatchlings are brought in with damaged flippers, plant growth on their shell or other ailments. With great care the veterinary team at the Two Oceans Aquarium clean their shells and do what they can to save these turtles.

Over one hundred people voted in July 2023 to name Wren’s first adopted hatchling. “Bahati” was chosen. In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken on the east coast of Africa, it means “lucky” or “fortunate”.

Hatchling Adoption Certificate 62 Bahati

Turtle Wren sticker3

It costs the Aquarium about R45 a day to care for a hatchling – no small effort. 

Wren’s goal for 2023 is to adopt three turtle hatchings (R18,000) and we are doing that by donating a % of every Wren OCEAN collection bag, wallet, sleeve and notebook organiser sold for the rest of the year.

The Turtle Conservation Centre is one of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation’s flagship programmes. With an emphasis on the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of endangered sea turtles that strand on local shores. Since its inception in 2019 over 1 000 turtles have been successfully rehabilitated and released.

DONATE to the two oceans aquarium turtle conservation center

Thank you, Tracy, for introducing me to the Turtle Conservation Center and Project. Your willingness to share this incredible initiative have opened my eyes to the importance of turtle conservation. I am grateful for the opportunity you’ve given me to be a part of this meaningful cause.

Thank you to Vic Munley for showing me and my girls around at the Two Oceans Aquarium “hospital”.

Thank you to Devon Bowen for compiling and sharing information about the project so that I may correctly share it forward.