Showing posts tagged as "traveling turtle"
Did you know that, with the help of US Airways, we’ve been shuttling endangered loggerhead turtles back and forth from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores? After being reared here on exhibit, they wing it back east, where they’re returned to the wild.
Can sea turtles fly? Ours will! The young loggerhead sea turtle that’s been displayed in our Open Sea galleries is winging it back to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores right now and will soon be returned to the wild. If all goes well, a new baby sea turtle wil take its place Friday night! Follow the journey on Twitter at #TravelingTurtle.
Thanks to US Airways for their assistance flying turtles to and from North Carolina!
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.
Our hatchling loggerhead sea turtle arrived at the Aquarium in time for the holidays and is “doing great” behind the scenes, according to Husbandry Curator Steve Vogel.
We anticipate he’ll go on exhibit early in the New Year!
Sea Turtle Arrives in Monterey
After a full day of travel on Thursday, our hatchling loggerhead sea turtle touched down in Monterey around 10 p.m. last night. Husbandry Curator Steve Vogel, who accompanied the turtle on its journey, brought it immediately to the Aquarium where it went straight to swimming behind the scenes.
This morning our veterinarian, Dr. Mike Murray, examined our hatchling. At just four months old, it weighs just under half a pound (0.22 kg), and its shell measures about 4.4 inches (11.2 cm) long and 3.4 inches (8.7 cm) wide.
Our turtle passed the exam, but we’re keeping it behind the scenes until after Christmas to acclimate to a regular feeding routine. Dr. Mike notes this is pretty typical with any new animal going on exhibit at the Aquarium. “It’s a feeding learning process—learning each other’s idiosyncrasies,” he says. Since the turtle eventually will be released back into the wild, our aquarists will take a “hands-off” approach and not hand-feed it or spend more time with it than necessary. They’ll continue to keep track of the hatchling’s weight through routine exams.
We’ll let you know when the little loggerhead will be introduced into the Open Sea exhibit gallery so that you can stop by and visit.
Our #TravelingTurtle gets a spot in the cockpit!
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.
Ever run into air travel problems during the holidays? That’s what happened this morning to our loggerhead sea turtle hatchling as Husbandry Curator Steve Vogel prepared to fly back with the turtle from North Carolina.
As you can see in the photo, the turtle passed its pre-flight physical with flying colors at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. But the little guy was denied boarding on his first flight — something to do with regulations about reptiles traveling in the main cabin on commercial flights. (It’s apparently been an issue on some planes.)
Our turtle is safe and in good health. For now, he’s driving back with Steve to the North Carolina aquarium while we work out alternate plans for their trip to Monterey. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s “new” news to share. And you can follow their journey on Twitter at #TravelingTurtle.
We’re optimistic that the hatchling loggerhead will make it home for the holidays.
Sea Turtle Hatchling Heading to Monterey
Can sea turtles fly? Well, a young loggerhead sea turtle similar to the one pictured here will be airborne tomorrow, en route from North Carolina to an exhibit in our Open Sea galleries.
It’s flying coach to Monterey with Curator Steve Vogel. You can follow their progress on Wednesday using the Twitter hashtag #TravelingTurtle.
At the earliest, it could be on exhibit Thursday morning, depending on the outcome of its veterinary exam. (We’ll keep you posted.)
The turtle is one of nine hatchlings rescued earlier this year by our colleagues with the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. These turtles didn’t make it back to sea with their nest-mates, and were hand-raised at the aquarium.
All nine are being loaned out to aquariums around the country, where they’ll live for up to two years before they’re returned to North Carolina, tagged and released to the wild.
Our youngster is just over 4 inches long and weighs less than half a pound. By the time it leaves Monterey, it could be more than a foot long and weigh up to 15 pounds.
We won’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, though. Even experts can’t tell a sea turtle’s gender until it’s around 10 years old.
Look for tomorrow’s updates at #TravelingTurtle, then come check the little guy out for yourself. It will be on the second floor of the Open Sea, near the puffins and other seabirds, in an exhibit that highlights the threats facing sea turtles and other animals from unsustainable fishing practices.