JUNO BEACH, Fla. - As families brace for Hurricane Irma, thousands across our area are evacuating the path of the storm.
But many people might not realize that Loggerhead Marinelife Center is an actively running turtle hospital. These patients need constant critical care, that they will only find if they are evacuated to a safer place.
Earlier on Thursday, the turtles were loaded up on trucks heading for Georgia.
"They will be placed in bins, they'll be very safe and strapped into the vehicle," said Hannah Deadman, spokeswoman for LMC. "Obviously, we want to be taking care of our patients and our staff so we're making sure that we're able to get them up there safe and sound."
Loggerhead staff have been prepping the center for Hurricane Irma, stacking sandbags around the hospital and officer doors, getting windows secured, and taking down anything that could become flying debris around the turtle yard.
The ten sea turtle patients and hatchlings will be transported by truck to the Georgia aquarium in Atlanta. The turtles will stay in Georgia until the storm threat has entirely passed.
Some of these turtles have boat strike injuries, infections and other complications that require constant care. They will continue to receive treatment up in Georgia.
Seaworld in Orlando was another option but with the storm possibly affecting the entire state, the center did not want to take any chances.
It does cost a lot of money to transport the animals. The nonprofit relies on donations to recoup those funds and the center's ongoing operations after the storm.