Sea turtles know a thing or two about surviving. They’ve lived on land and in the sea for more than 110 million years and have outlived countless animal species, including dinosaurs.
While sea turtles have history on their side, Shell Insurance gives them an extra level of protection so they can focus on cruising the oceans and find the perfect nesting place on the beach.
Shell Insurance from Wild Kingdom
Here are the key services Shell Insurance covers:
- Annual shell inspection — ensures a sea turtle’s hard outer cover is in good shape to provide protection from predators and abrasion.
- Light-blocking blinders — deflects light coming from beachside homes and businesses so nesting areas aren’t disturbed.
- Flipper exam — sea turtles spend more than 90% of their time in the ocean, so properly working flippers are essential to help them navigate through deep blue waters.
- Retirement services —provides coverage for care and services sea turtles need as they age, since sea turtles can live to be 100 years old.
- Scissors — come in handy if a sea turtle gets stuck in a commercial fishing net.
- Coral reef maps — since 50% of the world’s coral reefs have been lost, finding the coral reefs still left is important for the survival of sea turtles.
Shell Insurance is hard for sea turtles to pass up!
Supporting sea turtle conservation efforts
Six of the seven sea turtle species are threatened or endangered, the most rare being the critically endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. There is some good news, though. Numbers of most sea turtles species are on the rise after hitting low points within the past 60 years.
Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom is proud to support like-minded conservation organizations like the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s SAFE — Saving Animals from Extinction — program, whose efforts are focused on helping further increase sea turtle populations.
Threats to sea turtles
However, there are still many threats sea turtles face, such as:
- Commercial fishing — since sea turtles spend more than 90% of their life in the water, getting caught and injured in commercial fishing nets is an increasing concern.
- Coastal development — traditional nesting areas that had been desolate swaths on the beach are now areas where oceanfront condos and businesses are built.
- Environmental changes — an increase in sand temperatures causes a higher percentage of female sea turtles to be born, an imbalance that over time can have devastating consequences in the sea turtle population.
- Plastics and other marine debris — plastic and other debris swirling in the ocean can wash up on shores in sea turtle nesting areas. Worse yet, turtles can die if they eat plastic.
What’s being done to help sea turtles?
A network of marine rehabilitation specialists work closely with state and federal partners to assist sea turtles caught in fishing nets. Also, AZA’s Kemp’s ridley Recovery Team closely monitors the Kemp’s ridley telemetry data to identify migration paths, which can pinpoint potential areas where turtles are trapped or have a higher mortality rate in. This data is important to the stranding response and rehabilitation networks.
To read more about what some AZA organizations are doing to help these sea turtles, check out these other articles:
- Go Wild! Sea Turtles at Wonders of Wildlife
- Sea Turtle Stranding Brings Organizations Together for Rescue
- Manatee and Sea Turtle Conservation in Florida
Just as we help protect wildlife through our support of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, we also help protect the human kingdom. Learn more about how you can help protect your kingdom.
Source: SAFE, Saving Animals From Extinction, Sea Turtle Program Plan, 2019..