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Florida Zoo Takes in Over 200 Baby Sea Turtles Blown 'Way Off Course' By Hurricane Ian

baby seal turtle release
baby seal turtle release

The Brevard Zoo

The Brevard Zoo is hosting a baby turtle sleepover.

According to the Florida zoo, the park is temporarily housing over 200 wild baby sea turtles affected by Hurricane Ian. Ahead of the destructive storm, Brevard Zoo's Sea Turtle Healing Center prepared to receive an influx of new patients, so the facility was ready for the new arrivals.

Lauren Delgado, the communications manager of Brevard Zoo, told PEOPLE that many of the 200+ turtles staying at the zoo came were found onshore in the Cape Canaveral area of Florida, about 25 miles from the park, and were brought in by rescuers from the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.

The good news is that Hurricane Ian didn't injure many baby animals, but it delayed them.

baby seal turtle release
baby seal turtle release

The Brevard Zoo

"Most of our baby sea turtle patients were healthy, although way off-course from their goal: the sargassum. A few did have injuries and illnesses that are being cared for by our Zoo veterinary team," Delgado said about the new turtle arrivals.

RELATED: 90 Shelter Animals Airlifted to the Northeast to Make Room for Pets Affected By Hurricane Ian

Sargassum is a type of seaweed that serves as a nursery for baby sea turtles once they leave their nests in the sand and make it into ocean waters. The little animals stay in the sargassum, eating the seaweed and using it for protection until they are strong enough to move on.

"Usually, baby sea turtles fresh from their nest will use their egg yolk to sustain them during their journey to the sargassum. Once the nourishment from the yolk is gone, they'll start looking for food in the sargassum. Our patients have hit the time period when they're ready for a meal, and we've been providing them lettuce and a mashed-up mixture of fish, shrimp, and clams," Delgado said about how the rescue turtles are doing now.

baby seal turtle release
baby seal turtle release

The Brevard Zoo

RELATED: 'No Longer Hope' for Endangered Mother Whale Entangled in Fishing Gear for Months, Experts Say

The baby sea turtles will remain at the Brevard Zoo, where they are enjoying a tank filled with enrichment items and regular meals, until the conditions are right for their release.

"No date has been set for the return of the baby sea turtles to the water. Their release depends on their health, weather conditions, and the availability of a boat to take them directly to the sargassum," Delgado added.