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Mites On Turtles Shut Down Discovery Center

February 28, 2014, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Mites On Turtles Shut Down Discovery Center

A brief look at Discovery and Tie Dye would have you believe that nothing is wrong, but the two turtles are going through treatment to cure a rather itchy situation.

"Some of our staff noticed that they had some marks on their face. They've been with us since the very beginning, so we rushed them to the vet to see what was up," Washington Pavilion Director of Marketing Michele Wellman said.

The marks were discovered on Wednesday, and the vet told Washington Pavilion staff that they were carrying red mites. The Kirby Science Discovery Center was quickly shut down for fumigation. Where the mites came from is still unclear. They could've been brought in by one of the hundreds of people who pet them each day, or it may have been through their new bedding.

"These mites are actually rodent mites, and so maybe a mouse got into the bedding before it got here and that's how it got carried," Wellman said.

For visitors like Jill Jensen and her daughter Emerie, the closed center comes as a disappointment, but they understand what had to be done.

"We feel bad that the turtles aren't doing well, and we obviously are glad they closed the place for safety reasons to make sure everything is good, and hopefully everything can get fixed. Hopefully the turtles are going to get healthy and we can come back down again next week," Jensen said.

The vet working on Discover and Tie Dye says that this is a very common condition and easily treatable, and the two turtles should be back in the Washington Pavilion by early next week.

"The turtles, they're at the vet right now. They're just kind of hanging out until their little condo is back to normal," Wellman said.

If you were one of the people who have touched the turtles over the past week and you notice some red bumps, using a hydrocortisone cream should take care of any itching or marks. The turtles are doing just fine and the Kirby Science Discovery Center is set to re-open on Tuesday.

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