Showing posts tagged as "loggerhead"
Our New Arrival
The little loggerhead sea turtle hatchling rescued by our colleagues in North Carolina is now on exhibit in the Open Sea galleries.
This #TravelingTurtle arrived last Friday and it’s now settling in after its exhibit home was spiffed up a bit.
The youngster hatched in mid-August, three days after its egg was rescued as part of a routine nest excavation performed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The nest was located in the town of Emerald Isle, not too far from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, where the turtle was raised.
When it left North Carolina, it weighed less than half a pound and was just over 4 inches long.
The loggerhead that we returned to North Carolina will be released offshore in the Gulf Stream in the near future. We’ll share photos of our first #TravelingTurtle going back to the wild.
Many thanks to our friends at USAirways who expedited the turtles’ travels!
Photo ©Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder
The Traveling Turtle Goes on Exhibit!
Remember our traveling turtle? The young endangered loggerhead is now on exhibit in our Open Sea galleries.
The baby turtle weighs 1 pound, 2.5 ounces and is almost 6 inches long. It made a splash even before it arrived at the Aquarium in late December. Then, Curator Steve Vogel and his rare passenger were bumped from their flight to Monterey from North Carolina. After a day’s delay, the pair received the red-carpet treatment flying back to California on US Airways. The sea turtle stayed by Steve’s side in the cabin, and kept warm inside a carrier lying atop a towel covering a hot water bottle.
We shared details and pictures of the entire trip on social media sites, especially Twitter, via the hashtag #TravelingTurtle. As the journey occurred just before Christmas, many people empathized with travel delays and the desire to just go home.
The turtle is on exhibit by itself for now, but will soon be joined by mohara and French grunt fishes. Together, the tropical community exhibit represents species affected by overfishing. Those species of fishes are caught using a trawl, which indiscriminately scrapes sea floors in pursuit of maybe one or two species. As a result, an average of 10 pounds of “bycatch” – including loggerhead sea turtles – dies in pursuit of one pound of fish. (Recently, significant coastal protections for loggerheads were being implemented.)
The turtle will remain at the Aquarium from six to 24 months, depending on its growth rate. Since it will eventually be released back into the wild, aquarists are taking a “hands-off” approach and not hand-feeding it or spending more time with it than necessary. They’ll continue to keep track of the hatchling’s weight through routine exams. Aquarium staff is unsure if it’s male or female. Even experts can’t tell a sea turtle’s gender until it’s around 10 years old.
The turtle is one of nine hatchlings rescued in early 2012 by colleagues with the North Carolina Aquarium. These turtles didn’t make it back to sea with their nest-mates, and were raised at the aquarium. All nine are on loan to aquariums around the country, where they’ll live for up to two years before they’re returned to North Carolina, tagged and released.