Joe's Job: Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 6:07 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- I was training with stranding team technicians from the Virginia Aquarium rehabbing endangered turtles.

The group treats young animals for everything from fish hook damage, propeller injuries and even cold stunning when the water temperature drops.

Most of the technicians were here during last summers mysterious dolphin deaths.

"It's very sad, but I think it's great that we were able to help and hopefully try to find out what can be done in the future when those kinds of things happen in the future," said technician Krystle Rodrique.

During my training, a massive leatherback turtle washed ashore around 77th Street. 

Our team of responders assessed the situation, recorded data and made plans to lift the turtle into the truck.

It was still too early to determine the cause of death.  That will come later when they perform a necropsy. 

Onlookers couldn't believe their eyes.  It definitely takes a special person to do this kind of work.

"It's long hours.  It can be stinky. You can get bit by animals but if you really enjoy the work, then you will really enjoy the work," said research coordinator Sue Barco.

So far this year the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team has recovered 91 animals --  50 of those have been turtles. 

Learn more about the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team

 

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