Turtle En-route for the Holidays!

Our hatchling loggerhead sea turtle is getting the red-carpet treatment from the folks at US Airways.

A day after the turtle was bumped from his flight to Monterey from North Carolina, both turtle and Husbandry Curator Steve Vogel are scheduled for VIP treatment to get them home for the holidays – at 600 miles per hour, in a three-leg flight that will take most of Thursday to complete.

Andrew Christie with the communications staff at US Airways headquarters in Phoenix has arranged all the details, short of guaranteeing a favorable weather forecast. He’s made sure that everyone at US Airways – from staff at ticket counters and gates, to flight attendants and pilots – is aware that a Very Special Sea Turtle has the green light to travel with them today.

“Our reservations folks were kind enough to book [Steve] on all aisle seats to accommodate any need to…check and/or change the hot water bottle for the baby turtle,” Andrew added.

It’s service that’s can make a life-or-death difference, as our veterinarian, Dr. Mike Murray, notes.

“Thank you so very much for accommodating this little guy, the smallest passenger of the season,” he wrote. “I know it is a bit out of the ordinary, but your kindness and understanding are so very much appreciated.  Being so small (only about 4 inches in length) the little turtle has a huge thermal disadvantage.  He is not only cold blooded and can’t generate body heat, but the heat that we provide is lost quickly because of his high surface-area-to-body-weight ratio.  Having Steve right there with him to monitor the temperature is so critical to the little turtle’s well being.”

You can follow their progress from New Bern, N.C. to Monterey on Twitter at #TravelingTurtle. We’ll post updates throughout the day.

Read more about our hatchling loggerhead sea turtle.


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    US Airways was my savior this holiday as well when United cancelled my flight home. My flight with them was awesome too!
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About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.