Richie Moretti, founder of The Turtle Hospital

by | Jan 22, 2014

In a broadcast emanating from KUCI in Irvine, CA, Richie Moretti—founder and director of the nationally-regarded Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL—explains how a Volkswagen mechanic from New Jersey ended up launching a sea turtle hospital in the Keys in 1986. SeaTurtleHospitalHe describes traveling a steep learning curve in caring for the turtles, while also pointing out some of the virtues along the way of his not being a scientist or professionally-trained to look after the turtles, and how funding the operation himself rather than relying on government grants afforded Moretti greater independence and speed in discovering treatment methods.  He also spends a fair amount of time discussing Fibropapilloma, the scourge of the sea turtle world, a disease that results in tumors SeaTurtleCloseUpappearing on the turtle’s body, but often, there’s also a corresponding set of tumors internally—and the significant research about Fibropapilloma produced over the years by The Turtle Hospital in concert with the University of Florida. And while the Hospital’s goal is always to help the ill or injured turtles, then release them into the wild, Moretti discusses circumstances that would prevent them from being released, and where they go.  (,

COMEDY CORNER: Richard Jeni’s “Fred Robster” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Frank & Ann Thomas’ “Sea Turtle Song,” Josh Turner’s “Alligator Stroll,” Loose Fur’s “Hey Chicken,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  X’s  “Hungry Wolf”


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