Lending A Hand

Kate checks out a sea turtle patient at the NEAQ (Photo from The Cape Cod Times)
Our pools may not be ready to hold patients here at the National Marine Life Center quite yet, but that hasn’t stopped us from helping the New England marine life in need of rehabilitation. Our animal care technician Kate Shaffer spent two and a half weeks this December lending a helping hand to neighboring rehabilitation centers. The Kemp’s ridley turtles were hit particularly hard this season with over 200 stranding on Cape Cod beaches. The first stop for turtles in need of rehabilitation in Massachusetts is the New England Aquarium’s (NEAQ) Rehabilitation Center in Quincy, MA. Kate spent three days working with the NEAQ staff to provide care to the sea turtle patients.


Two Harbor Seal patients at UNE
Kate also spent two weeks working at the University of New England’s (UNE) Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center to fill in for a staff member on medical leave. UNE is currently rehabilitating six of the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles that stranded on Cape Cod. In addition there were four Harbor Seals in rehabilitation while Kate was working there. Having seen few pinnipeds while working in Florida, Kate took the opportunity to lean proper seal restraint, and become more familiar with pinniped rehabilitation techniques. She was even able to participate in her first seal release before heading back to the National Marine Life Center!
Kate had a wonderful time working with and getting to know the rehabilitation staff at our neighboring facilities. It is important that we all work together to help the animals in need! We are glad Kate was able to lend a helping hand but she is glad to be back at the NMLC and anxious to open our doors to patients right here on Cape Cod!