World Sea Turtle Day

Happy World Sea Turtle Day!

Incoming in 3 … 2 … 1 … Our rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle is ready for her close up this World Sea Turtle Day! Wonder what it takes to care for a charismatic creature like our rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle? Let’s dive in and see how our incredible husbandry team works hard to give our resident sea turtle the best care to keep her healthy.

Sea Turtle Enrichment

See that bright red object aquarist Amy is holding? That’s known as a target  — this target is a cue to our Loggerhead Sea Turtle that it’s time to feed. Once she swims over to the target, aquarist Amy will positively reinforce this behavior with some food — fish and clam tongues are just a few of the items on the menu!

Sea turtle enrichment like target training is so important! During this time our aquarists are able to bond with our Loggerhead Sea Turtle, complete an overall animal wellness check, and ensure that our sea turtle is eating all her food and vitamins. It allows us to continue to give our rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle the best care to keep her healthy.

It’s also a time when our sea turtle can get comfortable with special equipment that’s sometimes used in her habitat — like the specialized basket that’s used to lift her out of her habitat during annual vet checkups and procedures. Since our sea turtle is over 200 pounds, our aquarists use this specialized basket that’s attached to a crane to safely lower her to the ground.

Sea Turtle Spa

Ever wonder how the shell of a sea turtle stays so sparkling clean? It’s thanks to a cleaning station. These cleaning stations are kind of like an underwater car wash. As algae, barnacles, and other hitchhikers grow on a sea turtle’s shell, it slows them down. So sea turtles rely on these cleaning stations to help lighten their load — they’ll swim up to these stations and in a matter of minutes small fish will pick off. That’s what we like to call a win-win … or in a more technical term a mutual symbiotic relationship.

During an overall wellness check, our aquarist will bring the cleaning station to our sea turtle. Helping to maintain shell health is an extremely important part of the job. Watch below as aquarist Amy works on gently scrubbing our sea turtles shell. Amy uses a soft brush to clean off any algae or barnacles buildup on her shell to keep our sea turtle clean and healthy.

Supporting Sea Turtles

This World Sea Turtle day, we’d like to ask you to join us in the journey to protect sea turtles. All seven species of sea turtles are currently listed as threatened or endangered due to several factors including plastic pollution, compromised habitats, unsustainable fishing practices, and climate change. 

Join us in conserving sea turtles by taking one or all of the following actions. Remember when small actions add up, they make big changes! 

🐢Help keep waterways clean — get involved in a local river, watershed, or beach cleanup!

🐢Reduce your use of plastic waste and find reusable alternatives — be sure to recycle discarded fishing line and gear

🐢Support sustainable seafood — be sure to ask for local or regional seafood only

🐢Support Marine Protected Areas and reserves that sea turtles frequent

🐢Advocate for dark beaches during sea turtle nesting season — human lights confuse hatchling turtles

🐢Maintain a respectful distance (at least 50 yards) if you see one in the water or on a beach

🐢Inspire and educate friends and family about sea turtle conservation