Brightmore of Wilmington retirement residents set off on an afternoon trip to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center in Surf City. It was everyone’s first time going to the center, and we are so glad that we did! The staff were very thorough in helping us learn about the conservation and protection of all species of marine turtles: both in the water and on the beach, how they are rescued, what it takes to go through rehabilitation and then to be released back to their environment. There were 18 turtles in the rehab center, and they had just released eight back in to the ocean the day before. The center takes care of Loggerheads, Kemp Ridley’s and Green turtles, which are all found in our area of beaches. We learned that the majority of turtles will come in due to “Cold-stunning” symptoms, which are several issues that arise in extreme cold water such as hypothermia, barnacles and eye symptoms. Others come in due to injuries from their environment and need surgery and rehab to get them stronger to be returned. The center also has a Surgical, ICU and therapy room for turtles in immediate danger. The largest turtle we saw was a 300 pound Loggerhead that was washed up on Bald Head with cold-stunning symptoms, but is doing extremely well, and they hope he will be released soon. The most exciting part of the trip was when we got to see “Dandelion” return from surgery and placed in her therapy pool for rehabilitation. What an eye opener! We learned so much about our local beaches and turtles and will definitely recommend everyone go there for a visit.