Update on Sea Turtles at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center 

Resident Sea Turtles have Returned!

We are pleased to announce that Gumbo Limbo Nature Center's Sea Turtle Conservation Coordinator, David Anderson, and his team have secured a permit to house resident sea turtles at our facility. Morgan, a resident green sea turtle at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, has returned following an extended stay at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where she received dedicated care. Morgan first came to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center after being rescued in 2014. She was hit by a boat and her injuries caused her to be partially paralyzed in her rear flippers and unable to control her buoyancy.

On February 22, Lefty, a resident Kemp’s ridley sea turtle joins Gumbo Limbo Nature Center after being under the care of various rehabilitation centers over the past few decades. It is unknown when and why Lefty originally stranded. Unfortunately, Lefty has damage to both of his front flippers and cannot return to the wild.

You can see Morgan in our Shipwreck Aquarium and Lefty in our Mangrove Aquarium today!


sea turtle eating lettuce in tank

When can visitors view sea turtles in the aquariums? 
Resident green sea turtle, Morgan, currently lives in our Shipwreck Aquarium.  Resident Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Lefty, currently lives in our Mangrove Aquarium.

Does this mean that Cane is back? 
FWC follows specific criteria to determine the most suitable facility for each sea turtle based on their individual needs. We await their decision to determine sea turtle resident placement. 

How can I stay updated on the sea turtles return? 
Follow our social media channels and www.myboca.us/SeaTurtleUpdates to stay updated on the most recent news. 

Will the rehabilitation facility at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center reopen?
The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation program will resume operations at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in the same facility once appropriate permits are obtained by the Coastal Stewards from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Coastal Stewards are currently working through permitting processes with FWC to resume rehabilitation efforts at the Nature Center.

Who are The Coastal Stewards?
The Coastal Stewards is a non-profit organization that provides all the funding for equipment, medications, food, and all operations of the sea turtle rehabilitation. They are formerly known as the Friends of Gumbo Limbo and have a decades long partnership with the City. More information can be found on their website.

Are there additional sea turtle conservation efforts at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center? 
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center's Sea Turtle Conservation Team remains committed to rescuing sick and injured sea turtles and monitoring Boca Raton's five miles of beach for sea turtle nesting activity. During nesting season, from March to October, the team conducts research, monitors nesting behavior, and hatchling activity every morning. In addition, the team provides care to resident sea turtles and coordinates numerous educational outreaches, presentations, and programs.

What other marine life can I see at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center?
Housed under beautiful pavilions constructed with wooden beams and green metal roofs, the Nature Center has four saltwater aquariums that represent different Southeast Florida marine habitats. The aquariums feature local organisms, naturalistic habitats, and viewing from all sides. The two shallow aquariums represent the coastal mangrove community and a nearshore reef. The two deeper aquariums represent a tropical coral reef and an artificial reef/shipwreck. More information can be found on our webpage.

I found a hatchling or an injured sea turtle. Can I still call or bring hatchlings to the Nature Center's dropbox?
Yes. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center's Sea Turtle Conservation Team is dedicated to rescuing hatchlings and injured sea turtles. If needed, they transport them to the appropriate facilities for further care. For injured sea turtles, you can call the 24-Hour Sea Turtle Rescue Hotline. In addition, the hatchling cooler at the Nature Center entrance will be checked by staff. Visit our Strandings webpage for more information.

What other activities are available at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center?
For more information about the many activities, programs and exhibits to enjoy, please visit our Plan Your Visit webpage and Programs, Events & Outreach webpage.