New Zealand's only Turtle Release Centre
As part of their rehabilitation, rescued turtles make the Turtle Rescue centre at Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium their new home, serving as ambassadors for the marine species.
For the past 20 years, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Turtle Rehabilitation centre has rehabilitated and released more than 50 turtles and is New Zealand’s only turtle rehabilitation centre. There is now an experienced and dedicated team to care for these amazing creatures. The affectionately known Turtle Rescue Team is made up of SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s, Auckland Zoo and the Department of Conservation with a special mention to Air New Zealand.
Of the seven marine turtle species, five are found in New Zealand waters and all of them are either endangered or critically endangered. Experiences like Turtle Rescue help educate the broader public on how their behaviour in and around the water can impact local marine life.
Turtles face a number of threats in the wild including boat strikes and accidental plastic ingestion or entanglement. At Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s we aim to educate the public on the threats turtles face and encourage behavioural change by choosing to reuse being mindful of plastic pollution.
Turtle Rescue and Turtle Rehabilitation centre also aims to educate Kiwis on the important story around what type of turtles inhabit our coastlines, why and how they got here and where the turtles go once they are released.