Rescue & Rehab

N.E.S.T. has its roots in helping injured and sick turtles. In the mid 90’s N.E.S.T. founders led by our first president Millie Overman, wanted to focus on the rehabilitation of turtles who had already beat the terrible odds of surviving those first few days and years of turtle life. They soon found that the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island had no facilities to treat injured turtles. The first injured turtles were treated in the living rooms of N.E.S.T. volunteers. Eventually, funds were secured by N.E.S.T. for a small turtle treatment facility at the aquarium. In 2014?, that humble facility was replaced by the new Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center at the Aquarium on Roanoke Island. NEST volunteers still help care for turtles there.

N.E.S.T. is also responsible for rescuing and transporting sick and injured sea turtles to the STAR Center. N.E.S.T. receives on its 24 hour hotline hundreds of calls a year from beachgoers reporting turtle sittings. Each of those calls is screened and then investigated by N.E.S.T. volunteers. Volunteers will then transport turtles needing treatment to the STAR Center. During winter months at times of abrupt water temperature drops, N.E.S.T. has rescued hundreds of turtles stunned by the cold water and stranded in Pamlico Sound. Many of these turtles are transported to the STAR Center. We also necropsy and collect samples from dead turtles to help researchers find out more about sea turtles.

Image Name Age/Species Strand Date / Location Cause of Strand Weight Outcome
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Fin Juvenile Kemps Ridley 11-14-14 / Pea Island overwash 39.4 lbs
Cindy Lou
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Cindy Lou Adult Loggerhead 08-08-16 / Pea Island anemia 230 lbs
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Gooey Juvenile Green 01-20-16 / Buxton cold stunned 6.6 lbs
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Horton Juvenile Green 01-20-16 / Buxton cold stunned 8.3 lbs

Pax Juvenile Green 01-18-16 / Avon cold stunned 7.1 lbs released 8-22-16
Stitches Juvenile Green 01-06-16 / Buxton cold stunned 7.9 lbs

Wump Juvenile Kemps Ridley transfer from PKS cold stunned 13 lbs released 8-10-16

Yosemite Juvenile Green 1-15-16 / Virginia Beach cold stunned 11.4 lbs moved to exhibits
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Yertle Juvenile Loggerhead 07-10-16 / Ocracoke pneumonia 75 lbs

Feffer Juvenile Green 07-12-16 / Hatteras flipper laceration 6.2 lbs released 09-14-16