We are pleased to announce that the new Quarantine (QT) facility will soon be completed and operational at TSC. As a major breeding center dedicated to the long term species survival of the populations of over two dozen endangered turtle species, this new facility will greatly expand the Center's ability to properly quarantine incoming animals and isolate those found to be carrying pathogens of potential concern. The Quarantine (QT) facility provides a new dimension of expert care and will help protect the existing, irreplaceable, and growing collection already on site. Additionally, it will provide isolation areas where turtles that are not clinically ill, but found to carry potential pathogens, will be maintained for breeding. Some of the pathogens we are testing for are newer to science or still poorly understood, and we are excited by the opportunities the QT will provide in both protecting our turtles and learning more about these diseases. The new facility allows us to maintain potentially contagious but healthy animals in breeding pairs safely away from non-carriers, and to determine if positive status is transferred to offspring.
The facility is a 30'x40' cinder block building with four animals rooms, a general muck room, a necropsy room (with a separate entrance) and a storage/disinfection area. Each of the animal rooms has separate cooling and heating to allow individual climate control as well as prevent any potential airborne pathogens contaminating other rooms. The building sits on a two-foot solid concrete footer and has been engineered to withstand hurricane force winds.
We broke ground on the facility in March 2016 and are in the final stages of completion of this vital new addition to TSC. We owe a debt of gratitude to our friends - Will McGuire for serving as the GC on this project, Jay Allen and Derrek Beavor- for their donated concrete work. Much of the work was done in house under the supervision of Facilities Director Nathan Haislip. We also want to acknowledge the generous support of an anonymous family foundation for making this facility possible.