The Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys is the first fully licensed veterinary hospital exclusively for sea turtles. For almost 30 years, dedicated researchers and veterinarians at the Turtle Hospital have worked to save the lives of endangered and threatened sea turtle species in the United States. As polluted waters, boats, and disease increasingly threaten the animals, Turtle Hospital employees commit their lives to saving the rare reptiles from extinction.

In the short documentary “The Sea Turtle Hospital,” The Atlantic talks to Turtle Hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach about what it’s like to care for the fascinating animals. In the video, Zirkelbach gives a tour of the Turtle Hospital’s facilities, introduces us to some of its patients (all of whom have adorable names like “The Professor,” “Lil’ Susie” and “George”), and explains why she finds turtles so fascinating. “When you look at a sea turtle, you just feel like you’re looking at an ancient creature,” she explains. “You look into their eyes and it seems that they have the history of the planet. When dinosaurs were roaming our planet, sea turtles were in our oceans as they are today. That’s another reason we work so hard to save them.”

[h/t The Atlantic]

Banner Image Credit: The Atlantic, Vimeo