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Sea Turtle Center

The Only Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in the Midwest

Each winter, when water temperatures drop, hundreds of endangered and threatened sea turtles “strand” or wash up on land. Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, has been honored to serve as the only rehabilitation center in the midwest over the past three years. Through partnerships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Turtles Fly Too, Wonders of Wildlife has provided critical care for 40 sea turtles (loggerhead, greens, and Kemp's ridley) before releasing them back into the wild.

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Wonders of Wildlife welcomed 16 turtles to its Sea Turtle Center this year – including loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, and green sea turtles. As part of our ongoing efforts to share this with the community, we partnered with universities across the state of Missouri.

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Turtle Tracker

We are tagging along with five of our rehabilitated sea turtles! Since their release back into the ocean, we are tracking their movements with SPOT-375 tags. You can follow their path as they venture out across the sea. Each turtle carries a unique story of resilience and hope. Learn more about our Sea Turtle Center and the efforts to help rescue sea turtles by visiting our blog!

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“WOW is honored to once again be helping cold stunned sea turtles, sea turtles are a keystone species in the ocean and are vital to the long-term health of that ecosystem. Turtles have many jobs in the wild – from gardeners that tend the sea grass beds and prevent overgrowth, care takers of coral reefs eating sponges that could harm corals, and are vehicles for dozens of species like barnacles, crabs, and algae that travel on their backs to different parts of the world where they breed and thrive. Sea turtles are also pivotal to the health of beaches and sea oats that utilize the nutrients from old nests to grow and prevent erosion.”
– Mike Daniel, Director of Animal Care

Sea Turtle Center Blog

ARTICLES

2024

Sea Turtles Return Once Again

The Wonders of Wildlife Team partners with US Fish and Wildlife and Turtles Fly Too once again to help rehabilitate a group of Loggerhead sea turtles, Green sea turtles and Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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Sea Turtle Coloring Sheet

Download our special Sea Turtle Rescue Center coloring sheet below!

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Take a look at the submissions we received for this coloring contest

2023

Return To The Sea

The Wonders of Wildlife Team partners with US Fish and Wildlife and Turtles Fly Too and help return the Loggerheads to the ocean in Spring of 2023. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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New Year Sea Turtle Rescue

The Life Sciences team conduct their first round of medical checkups on the 10 Loggerhead turtles. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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New Year Sea Turtle Rescue

Ten cold-stunned sea turtles made the journey from the Northeast to the Midwest to receive critical care and long-term rehabilitation. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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2022

 

A Continued Mission

The Midwest's only Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center will be a temporary home for 8 loggerheads over the next few months. Our team of animal care experts will be helping them around the clock to recover and rehabilitate before being released them back into the wild. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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2021

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The Turtles Have Arrived

Just in time for Christmas, 12 cold-stunned loggerhead sea turtles arrived at Wonders of Wildlife. The turtles arrived from Cape Cod, flying over 1,200 miles to get here. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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Sea Turtle Medical Tests

Medical Exams

Last Wednesday, Wonders of Wildlife’s 12 loggerhead sea turtle rescues underwent their biggest medical exam to-date. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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Sea Turtle Release

Twelve endangered loggerhead sea turtles were successfully released back to their native habitat in the Atlantic Ocean on April 6th, 2021. Read the full story by clicking the link below.

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ADOPT AN ANIMAL

Stay connected to the 35,000 live animals that call Wonders of Wildlife home with a symbolic animal adoption. In exchange for your generous support, you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind package from the Aquarium to commemorate your care.

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Free Coloring Page!

Help bring some color to these sea turtles out in the open ocean!

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Rescue Effort Made Possible By: