Turtle Tuesday: She’s Baaaaaacck!

Today marked another important milestone for our Aquarium family as we introduced the first animal, our 500+ pound green sea turtle Calypso, into our Blacktip Reef exhibit!

Calypso's introduction to Blacktip Reef

After a “mini-vacation” behind-the-scenes while our central exhibit space was being transformed into a vibrant Indo-Pacific reef, Calypso was excited to explore her new home.

 A little bit about Calypso

After stranding off the shore of Long Island, New York, in 2000, a juvenile green sea turtle (only weighing about 6 pounds at the time) was transported to our Animal Care Center for rehabilitation in 2002. At the time of her rescue, Calypso’s left-front flipper had a severe infection, which required amputation. Because of her amputation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) deemed Calypso “non-releasable.” She’s been a beloved member of our Aquarium family ever since!

We’re excited for Calypso to continue to explore her new digs and meet the neighbors, as we introduce hundreds of animals into Blacktip Reef over the next month!

Stay tuned for more updates as our newest exhibit continues to come to life!

30 Responses to “Turtle Tuesday: She’s Baaaaaacck!”


  1. 2 Liz Nowakowski July 2, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    it’s about time you guys did something with that area!!! i always wondered why you had it bare…

  2. 5 Lee MunLim July 3, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    going there August 3rd so exicted

  3. 7 Kelly D July 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    My husband and I are coming from Green Bay, WI next week, and I can’t wait to see this and the black tip sharks!

    • 8 National Aquarium July 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      It’s an exciting time to visit the Aquarium and see Blacktip Reef literally come to life. With the continued introduction of new animals (from tropical fish to rays and sharks), the look and feel of our new exhibit is evolving everyday!

      As we’re sure you understand, the process of opening an exhibit with a living collection is largely guided by the needs of our animals. Though we had planned to open our exhibit on July 10, we’ve decided to give the residents of Blacktip Reef more time to become acclimated to their new home. Our blacktip reef sharks will be introduced to the exhibit at the end of July.

      We look forward to seeing you this week, Kelly! Let us know what you think of Blacktip Reef :)

  4. 9 Angie July 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I remember seeing the beautiful, 3-finned turtle years ago when we were in the area. Glad to know she is still alive and hope she re-adjusts to her “new” home well! c u soon!

  5. 12 Deborah July 4, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I bring my grandchildren to the aguarium several times a year. They loved the old exhibit and Calypso. But they can’t wait to get back this month and see the new exhibit and they are thrilled that Calypso is back!! Great job to you all!!!

  6. 14 Jane July 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    You start out by saying the turlte weighs over 5,000 POUNDS! Whaaaaaattttt?! OMG So you guys got the turtle at 3 pounds and it got that large up to 5,000. I would be super excited to go see the turtle on that date. I want to show my son the 3 finned turtle one of these days too

    • 15 National Aquarium July 6, 2013 at 9:18 am

      She’s actually only 500 pounds :)

      That said, we hope that you guys can come by and see her soon!

  7. 16 George July 5, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Another good reason to schedule a trip back down during the summer! We are excited to see the new exhibit and to welcome back Calypso! Our son’s favorite animal is turtles. We have two of our own that he takes care of and his has enjoyed them since he was very young. Calypso has been one of his favorite attractions when we have visited in the past. I am sure he will be happy to see her again.

  8. 18 Scott Loeb July 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    She’s a gem…I’ve visited her often and look forward to my next opportunity!

  9. 20 Sara July 6, 2013 at 6:46 am

    We are taking our kids and parents today!
    It will be our first time seeing black tip reef. I I think I’m more excited than our kids! :D

  10. 22 Hannah July 7, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Notice of Calypso returning was gave us a sigh of relief. Timing of e-mails had us worried. Your e-mail of 7/1 said residents for Blacktip Reef needed more time and made no mention of anyone being in the tank when we arrive for a members only visit. Even if it is only Calypso, that is all we need to make it a memorable opening.

    • 23 National Aquarium July 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks for the message, Hannah! We apologize for the lack of clarity in our email. Calypso was the first of hundreds of animals that will be introduced to the exhibit throughout this month!

      We certainly hope your sneak peek is a memorable night!

  11. 24 Brandi Snyder July 8, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I love this turtle! :) I always wanted to know what happened to the fin she lost and I really wanna know what happened

  12. 25 Kelsey August 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I visited yesterday and loved the exhibit. I looked and couldn’t find Calypso though! Did I just miss her or was she out for the day?

    • 26 National Aquarium August 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      She’s hasn’t moved since being introduced to Blacktip Reef! Her favorite spot to relax is a spot of table coral in our deep dive area. Chances are you just missed her! Hopefully you can stop by again soon to see Calypso in action!

    • 27 LittleCrunchy (@LittleCrunchy) August 22, 2013 at 6:33 am

      For a 500 pound animal she sure does the “ninja” really well. We got to see her a few times last night but right before leaving we couldn’t find her no matter how hard we looked. I think she was staying under the bridge walkway out of site! Good luck next time!

  13. 28 jon February 25, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I had no idea sea turtles were that large. I was blown away, i refuse to believe calypso is only 500 pounds. Nevertheless, it was amazing and good job with the exhibit.


  1. 1 Friday Favorites 7.5 | Sunshine and the Bear Trackback on July 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  2. 2 Meet the New Neighbors! Blacktip Reef Sharks Added to Exhibit! | National Aquarium - WATERblog Trackback on July 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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