Mote Marine Laboratory recently received a generous grant of $7,500 from Wells Fargo for rescue and rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles. This is the company’s third grant for Mote’s care of these federally protected marine reptiles.

“We are truly grateful for Wells Fargo’s repeated generosity toward helping these animals,” said Dr. Abe Robinson, Marine Veterinarian Research Postdoctoral Fellow at Mote.

Lynne Byrd, Mote’s Rehabilitation and Medical Care Coordinator, added: “Mote has already released two rehabilitated turtles nicknamed ‘Fargo I’ and ‘Fargo II’ back into the wild, and we look forward to more happy endings thanks to Wells Fargo’s continuing support.”

“Wells Fargo is proud to support the important work at Mote Marine Laboratory,” said John Zimmerman, Area President for Wells Fargo. “Our company and our team members have a keen interest in protecting our environment and marine life, so we appreciate the efforts of the rescue and rehab teams at Mote.”

Mote’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital has treated more than 400 sea turtles over the years and is one of only four Florida facilities treating sea turtles with fibropapillomatosis, a little-understood disease that can cause life-threatening papilloma tumors in sea turtles. Mote has expanded its “pap ward,” increasing its ability to help these turtles.

Sea turtles in distress are rescued by Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program, which responds 24 hours per day to reports of stranded sea turtles and marine mammals. Mote’s rescue and rehabilitation teams work together to provide rapid response to animals in distress in Sarasota and Manatee counties and transfer animals to Mote’s hospital facilities. The Stranding Investigations Program receives nearly 500 calls from the public per year. In addition, Program staff also recover and examine deceased animals to learn more about the threats they faced.

Mote’s sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation programs do more than benefit individual animals. Mote staff help to learn about and document the diseases, injuries and other challenges facing these endangered and threatened species, providing knowledge to inform future hospital care and elucidate threats to wild populations.

As a nonprofit, Mote depends greatly on donations and grants to support and enhance its efforts to help marine animals.