Animal Rescue

Caring for rehabilitated sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Hospital
Caring for rehabilitated sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Hospital Photo: Vanessa Kahn

The New England Aquarium responds to calls about distressed sea turtles.

Sea turtles in our region do not typically come ashore unless they are seriously debilitated. If you come across a sea turtle in need of assistance, please contact the appropriate organization listed below.


Sea Turtle Rescue Phone Numbers

From Boston north to the New Hampshire-Maine border

If you encounter a sea turtle in distress on the beach within this territory, please call the New England Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Hotline at 617-973-5247.

South Shore, Cape Cod, and the Islands

For sea turtles found in these areas, please call the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary at 508-349-2615 x6104.

Please try to remain calm and leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached.

How to Help Other Stranded Species

The New England Aquarium only responds to distressed sea turtles. Please see below for information and numbers to call if you find a distressed mammal on the beach.

A beached whale, dolphin, or porpoise should be reported immediately (see below) and left alone pending further instruction.

Most seals that are found on beaches are quite healthy. Please do not disturb them. Unlike whales or dolphins, seals are semi-aquatic and are comfortable out of the water. Most seals come onto beaches to sleep, nurse, or soak up some sun. In fact, most seals on the beach are perfectly healthy, but sometimes they do need human assistance. Does the seal have any obvious injuries, gunky eyes, or look skinny or underweight? If so, please take notes on its location, size, coloring, and behavior and call the appropriate marine animal rescue team.

Who to Call for Seals, Dolphins, or Whale Species

Below are the New England area marine animal stranding response agencies and the geographic areas they cover.

  • Rockport to Plymouth: NOAA, 866-755-6622
  • Salisbury to Essex: Seacoast Science Center, 603-997-9448
  • Cape Cod and Southeastern MA: IFAW, 508-743-9548
  • Martha’s Vineyard: NOAA, 866-755-6622
  • Nantucket: Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket, 833-667-6626
  • New Hampshire coast: Seacoast Science Center, 603-997-9448
  • North of Rockport, Maine: College of the Atlantic, 800-532-9551
  • South of Rockport: Marine Mammals of Maine, 800-532-9551
  • Mystic Aquarium, 860-572-5944, Ext. 107

Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation

At the Sea Turtle Hospital in our Quincy Animal Care Center, we rehabilitate hundreds of sick and injured turtles each year.