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Debbie Hadley

Honey Heals Injured Sea Turtles

By February 21, 2009

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Next to insects, my greatest love is sea turtles. I've volunteered on several expeditions through the Earthwatch Institute, and have tagged and measured nesting turtles in three countries. It's downright magical to watch one of these creatures, so graceful in the water, haul themselves clumsily up onto a beach after dark to lay eggs. Unfortunately, sea turtles throughout the world are imperiled. Poaching of eggs, predation, human impacts from development and light pollution, and marine debris all take their toll on these living dinosaurs. Every turtle counts.

Veterinarians use honey to heal the wounds of injured sea turtles.
Veterinarians use honey to heal the wounds of injured sea turtles. This hawksbill turtle, fortunately, is healthy and laying eggs on a Trinidad beach.
Photo: Debbie Hadley, WILD Jersey

Sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation centers do their best to save the injured and sick. Amazingly, one of their best weapons for healing an injured turtle is honey! If a turtle has lost part of its shell, veterinarians may apply honey to the exposed tissue. Honey contains enzymes that help slough off dead tissue, and acts as an antibacterial agent to fight off infections.

So, there's just one more reason to protect our honeybees - they're helping save the lives of sea turtles.

Learn more - How Bees Make Honey


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