This has never happened in aquarium history, and perhaps (or maybe I should say hopefully) it will never happen again.
A record stranding year has left us with numbers off our charts, and an incredible trio remaining at the Animal Care Center gave us a once in a lifetime photo opportunity. #25, a Kemp's ridley sea turtle, #125, a green sea turtle, and #225, a loggerhead sea turtle, provide a great visual of the high numbers of cold-stunned turtles this season, as well as 3 different species we see as a bonus!
There are three common species that strand during cold stun season. Do you know the difference between them? Our powerful trio can show you!
Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( such as #25 on the far left) are the smallest and most endangered sea turtles. We usually see the smaller juveniles around 2 to 5 years old. Their carapace, or shell, is round in shape and the smaller ones are usually a dark gray to almost black coloration.
green sea turtles (many other greens have been transported to finish rehabilitation at other facilities). These turtles are also juveniles when we see them at an average of 12 pounds, but they can grow to over 300 pounds when they reach adulthood! Their carapace is more of an oval shape with beautiful striations.
diet with lettuce.
Loggerhead sea turtles such as #225 are usually a bit larger that the other species when we see them in this area, but they are still juveniles. They are a beautiful mahogany color and they get their name from their large heads. You can read more about the remarkable number of loggerheads we've received this season here and here. We may receive one to five loggerheads in an average year, but we have had 100 come through the doors this year alone!
See video of all three turtle species in action here.
In the meantime, happy new year from the NEAQ Rescue team and turtles!