Posts Tagged 'green sea turtle'



Blacktip Reef Update: Meet the Animals!

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our teams have been busy all over the Aquarium preparing for Blacktip Reef! Animal care is our number one priority, so one of the biggest jobs is caring for the animals that will soon be added to the new exhibit.

Beginning in summer 2013, guests will be able to  see new animals like blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, ornate wobbegong sharks and napoleon wrasse!

Napoleon wrasse

Napoleon wrasse

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Blacktip reef shark

These facinating new species will be joined by some of National Aquarium’s most beloved animals, including Calypso, our 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe!

green sea turtle

Calypso

Watch this video to learn more about the amazing animals that will be living in Blacktip Reef

Below are some of the other amazing species that will be joining our Blacktip Reef family!

  • Blotched fantail ray (Taeniurops)
  • Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
  • Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus)
  • Bluestripe seaperch (Lutjanus kasmira)
  • Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum)
  • Emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas))
  • Reticulate whipray (Himantura uarnak)
  • Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
  • Ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus)
  • Tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon)
  • Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula)
  • Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus)
  • Spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris)
  • Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

National Aquarium Celebrates Rescued Turtle Release

This morning, National Aquarium Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) joined the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program for a release of three rescued sea turtles. The rehabilitated turtles, Olympian, a juvenile green sea turtle; Merigo, a juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle; and Charlie, a loggerhead sea turtle, came to both facilities either sick or injured.

Olympian
Olympian, a 9-pound green sea turtle, was brought to the National Aquarium MARP team after being spotted floating off the coast of New Jersey in August. Olympian was treated for over-inflated lungs and possible pneumonia in the new MARP sea turtle rehabilitation center. Staff closely monitored the turtle’s behavior, diet and health and within a few weeks, found him resting on the bottom of his tank.

marine animal rescue

National Aquarium team members joined in South Carolina to say farewell and good luck to Olympian. Photo Courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

Olympian has been outfitted with a satellite transmitter that allows the Aquarium team to track the location and speed following the release. These tags help researchers learn more about sea turtle migration and travel patterns.

The public is invited to keep an eye on Olympian’s journey at: aqua.org/olympian

green sea turtle

Olympian, the green sea turtle, is outfitted with a satellite transmitter & the public is invited to keep an eye on Olympian’s journey! Photo courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

 

Merigo
Merigo, a 9-pound juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, was brought to the South Carolina Sea Turtle Rescue Program in January with a large group of Kemp’s ridley and loggerhead sea turtles found cold-stunned off the coast of Massachusetts. Sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles but become hypothermic when exposed to cold water temperatures for extended periods of time. Kemp’s are the most endangered and the smallest of all sea turtle species, making them particularly vulnerable to severe changes in water temperature. Merigo is the last of the original January rescue turtles group to be released.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle

Merigo, a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, prepped and ready to be released.
Photo courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

Kemp’s ridley sea turtle

Merigo getting ready to jump in!
Photo courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

Charlie
Charlie, a 150-pound loggerhead sea turtle, was found by the Department of Natural Resource’s research vessel, the Lady Lisa, in June. Charlie had a stingray barb in his front flipper and a puncture wound in his neck. South Carolina’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program provided antibiotics as well as wound treatment and he has now fully recovered from his injuries.

loggerhead rescue turtle

Being a much larger turtle, it took a few people to lift Charlie! Photo courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

loggerhead sea turtle

Charlie, a loggerhead sea turtle, ready to jump in the warm waters!
Photo courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

Prior to release, all three turtles had been very active in their rehab tanks, with healthy appetites and desire for enrichment activities.

About MARP

Every year, thousands of sea turtles, dolphins, whales, seals and manatees become sick or injured, often due to human-related reasons. National Aquarium is part of the Northeast Stranding Network, and is responsible for responding to live sea turtle and marine mammal strandings along the nearly 7,000 miles of coastline in Maryland, including the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coasts.

Since 1991, the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) has responded to more than 480 animals in distress and has rehabilitated and released nearly 100 marine animals back to their natural environment. Many of these animals are endangered or threatened, so every individual introduced back into the natural environment has the opportunity to add to the genetic diversity of the species.

Research, satellite tracking and outreach education are also significant components of MARP. Every animal that is rehabilitated and released is an opportunity to raise awareness and get the public involved in helping to conserve and protect our marine resources.

YOU can help protect marine animals too! Here are some quick tips:

  • Be responsible with your litter: recycle and dispose of trash properly, including fishing line, cigarette butts, six-pack rings, plastic debris, and metal cans.
  • Never release balloons. Balloons can fall into bodies of water, where animals confuse them for food or become entangled in them.
  • If you come across a stranded marine animal in Maryland that may be in need of medical attention, please call the National Aquarium’s Stranding Hotline at 410-373-0083, or the Maryland Natural Resources Police at 1-800-628-9944.
  • Donate to MARP! Every dollar counts!
  • Visit aqua.org/MARP to find out even more ways that you can help!

New Exhibit Announcement: Blacktip Reef is coming in 2013!

Beginning in summer 2013, you will be able to enjoy Blacktip Reef, a breathtaking exhibit full of color, light, and movement located in the heart of National Aquarium. This coral-filled exhibit, replicating Indo-Pacific reefs, is active with life that guests can experience from many vantage points of National Aquarium, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows guests to virtually step inside the exhibit and come face-to-face with the animals.

Artist’s rendering of the new Blacktip Reef exhibit.

As National Aquarium guests enjoy the exhibit, they can feel their heart race as a pack of blacktip reef sharks speed toward them. They may take a deep breath as they witness the rise and fall of a 5-foot-wide whipray’s massive fins beneath their feet. Explore deeper and they may spot an ornate wobbegong shark camouflaged against the reef bottom. New species will join some of National Aquarium’s beloved animals including Calypso, the 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe, in their new home.

Reticulated whiptail ray

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Be sure to check our website for additional information and updates on the exhibit’s progress!

A new turtle for MARP

The Marine Animal Rescue Program team has been very active with sea turtle rescues this year, and their work is not finished just yet. In late October a new green sea turtle patient was submitted to the MARP hospital. The turtle was found cold stunned in New Jersey and transported to the National Aquarium for rehabilitation.

“Cold stunning” occurs when sea turtles are exposed to prolonged cold water temperatures. Initial symptoms can include a decreased heart rate, decreased circulation, and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and possibly death. Sea turtles are cold-blooded reptiles that depend on external sources of heat to determine their body temperature. In cold water they do not have the ability to warm themselves, and must instead migrate to warmer waters.

Sea turtles are commonly found in waters off the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. during the summer and early fall. They typically begin to migrate south by late October. It is thought that animals foraging in shallow bays and inlets become susceptible to cold stunning because the temperatures in these areas can drop quite rapidly and unexpectedly.

Ideal body temperature for sea turtles is 80 F but upon arrival to the Aquarium the animal’s body temperature was just 72 F. After an initial examination the turtle was admitted to a pool with a water temperature of 73 F. The temperature was slowly increased to the ideal 78-80 range over the span of a few days.

Our veterinarians believe the turtle is about 2-3 years of age. Its current weight is just 6 pounds, which is fairly consistent for a turtle of that age class. The turtle is adjusting well to the water temperature and has been chowing down on brussel sprouts, romaine lettuce, and dandelion greens! The MARP team expects to release the turtle back into warmer waters in the few months.

Rescued sea turtle flies south

Earlier today, a patient of the National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program received a very special plane ride turtletransport3-smallto Florida aboard the private plane of  Aquarium board members, Mary and Harold Graul. The green sea turtle was flown to the Marine Science Center, bidding the cold temperatures of the Northeast goodbye.

The sea turtle came to the Aquarium in the fall after being rescued off the Maryland coast where it was found cold stunned.  After a few months of rehabilitation by the Aquarium’s vets and MARP team, the animal was approved to be released back into its natural habitat. Unfortunately, the waters at this time of year are too cold for the turtle, so its return to sea had to be postponed. To make room for new patients to the National Aquarium, the Marine Science Center agreed to keep the turtle until the water reaches warmer temperatures.

In a few months the Aquarium’s MARP team will travel down to Florida with a satellite tracking tag and release the turtle back into the ocean. Click here to see how other animals have been tracked over the years!


Sign up for AquaMail

Like us on Facebook!

Twitter Updates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 263 other followers