Today I drove to Quincy, Massachusetts to complete my time with the New England Aquarium and visit their Animal Rehabilitation and Care Center! Dan Dolan met me outside the Navy Shipyard and he introduced me to Adam Kennedy from the Sea Turtle rescue team. He gave me a tour of the facility and I met his staff of vets, interns and volunteers who take care of the animals on site. The Quincy Rehabilitation Center is primarily used for either quarantined animals or those that were rescued and are being rehabilitated to be released into the wild. There were a number of Kemp Ridley Sea Turtles as well as one Hawksbill Turtle on site. All of the turtles were rescued from Cape Cod Bay, where many turtles are stranded each year due to the hook-like topography of the Cape. Turtles ride the Gulf Stream north each summer in search of food in the plentiful waters of the Gulf of Maine. However, since turtles are exothermic they can experience cold stun and hypothermia in the Autumn when the water cools down. Many turtles are caught in the arm of the Cape and cannot escape in time to survive the cold. NEAQ had their largest rescue season ever this year with several hundred turtles. They have approximately a 90% success rate with the rehabilitation and the turtles are then released back into the wild. The Quincy center has large basins for the turtles to swim in and they are all labeled with marker on their shell by the order in which they were rescued. Turtle 479 had been injured by a boat strike and was having difficulty staying afloat in the water column so the vets were going to operate on her this weekend to remove a portion of her infected lung. I sincerely enjoyed being able to work with the other interns at the Rehab Center too and hearing about their similar interests. Thank you to everyone in Quincy for being so welcoming and sincere!
That evening I met Dan Dolan and his wife Donna at their home in Hingham and we went out for dinner to wrap up the week! They are both incredibly personable and sincere people and I loved being able to spend time with them. We had dinner with their daughter at a restaurant near the water and then walked around to explore the waterfront. I feel immensely lucky to have been able to meet Dan and his wife, for they are some of the most authentic and genuine people I have ever met. I look forward to seeing them again soon and I cannot thank Dan enough for everything he has done for me and the internship.