Posts Tagged 'north carolina aquarium'

Animal Rescue Update: Loggerhead Hatchling Scheduled for Release!

National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team has just received word that the loggerhead hatchling we rescued in October has passed his exit exam and will be released off the coast of North Carolina tomorrow (weather permitting)!

The loggerhead hatchling during it's exit exam earlier today!

The loggerhead hatchling during it’s exit exam earlier today!

First discovered on Assateague Island National Seashore just days before Hurricane Sandy, our team rescued and began caring for this loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. This was the first time our team had ever spotted a viable sea turtle hatchling on Maryland shores and the youngest turtle patient we’ve ever had at the Animal Care Center. Once it was deemed strong and healthy enough, the hatchling was transported to North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for further care.

We’re so thrilled that this little guy has continued to grow and is now ready to be released back into the ocean!

Stay tuned for a re-cap of his release!

MARP Update: Baby Loggerhead Turtle Doing Well!

national aquarium animal rescue loggerhead hatchling

Remember this little guy? We’re happy to report that the loggerhead hatchling we transported to North Carolina Aquarium is doing well!

Just days before Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast in October of 2012, our Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) team rescued and began caring for a loggerhead sea turtle hatchling found on Assateague Island National Seashore.

baby loggerhead turtle

Baby loggerhead turtle hatchling and egg.

Sadly the sole survivor from the nest, our MARP team cared for the hatchling until it was strong enough to be transported to North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for further care and release!

We’re thrilled to report that the young loggerhead is doing well and has grown a significant amount since his initial rescue! While he’s is still considered a bit small for his age class, the turtle is eating a good amount and diving well!

The wonderful team over at North Carolina Aquarium is hoping to release the loggerhead back into the ocean soon.

Stay tuned for updates on his release!  

Amazing Experience Sweepstakes Winners Meet Our Loggerhead!

In December of 2012, as part of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes, Darren Brooks from Williamsburg, Virginia won the chance to go behind-the-scenes and meet our baby loggerhead turtle at National Aquarium, Washington, DC!

Meet our baby loggerhead turtle, Brownie!

Our baby loggerhead turtle!

Recently, Darren and his family came on-site to meet our loggerhead, learn a bit more about the species and give the little one a name! After observing our baby sea turtle on exhibit, everyone went behind-the-scenes to actually meet the turtle and learn a bit more about him from our Aquarist Dana. Darren and his fiancee Denise decided to name the loggerhead ‘Brownie,’ after it’s sweet personality and love of food!

During their meet and greet with Brownie, Darren and his family also had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about our participation in the Loggerhead Head Start Program. Run by the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll, this program gives baby sea turtles a better chance at survival in the wild. Sea turtle hatchlings found stranded far from the ocean, spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow. After being given a clean bill of health and an extra boost of nutrition, they are tagged and released back to the ocean!

Brownie will spend two years at National Aquarium and then released off the coast of North Carolina!

Stay tuned for more stories on our Amazing Experience Sweepstakes winners!

Animal Update – December 7

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

AnimalUpdated_DC

Loggerhead moves!

As we mentioned in yesterday’s Thoughtful Thursday post, our National Aquarium, Washington DC venue hosts and cares for sea turtle hatchlings so they can safely grow as part of the Loggerhead Head Start Program. This week was a very special week in DC because it was turtle moving week!

Sylvia and Earle, the turtles we’ve had for the past year, traveled to North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores on Monday and will be released to the warmer waters soon!

loggerhead turtles

Sylvia and Earle tucked comfortably for their trip to North Carolina!

Although we were sad we had to say farewell to Sylvia and Earle, the team is extremely excited to welcome our new turtle hatchling! The new hatchling arrived on Wednesday and is looking very healthy.

loggerhead hatchling

Our new loggerhead hatchling!

As with all of our animals, the young turtle will be in our backup area for at least two weeks for close monitoring before joining its new friends in our exhibit.

loggerhead hatchling

Want to name the adorable new hatchling? Don’t forget – You could win the chance to name and meet the new baby in our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Thoughtful Thursdays: Loggerhead Head Start Program

Baby loggerhead turtle

As part of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes, National Aquarium in Washington, DC is giving one lucky winner the opportunity to name and have a behind-the-scenes “meet and greet” with our newest baby loggerhead turtle, arriving this month!

Enter to Win Now!

In order to help save these magnificent sea turtles from extinction, National Aquarium participates in the Loggerhead Head Start Program, run by the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll, that gives these baby sea turtles a better chance at survival in the wild.

Sea turtle hatchlings found stranded far from the ocean, spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow. After being given a clean bill of health and an extra boost of nutrition, they are tagged and released back to the ocean!

Baby loggerhead turtle

Baby loggerheads, like this one, spend their time exploring our Gray’s Reef exhibit before being released into the wild!

Sea turtles have a challenging life. Most weighing just 20 grams at birth, they face many natural predators both on the sandy beaches where they hatch and in the oceans where they dwell. Because of their low survival rate, they have been classified as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

After a two years of growth, National Aquarium staff returns them to North Carolina for release. Eventually, these turtles could weigh up to 200 pounds!

So – Want a chance to meet our newest turtle? 

There are five great ways to be entered to win! 

Click here to find out all the details about our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

Stay tuned for more features on our once-in-a-lifetime sweepstakes prizes! Winners will be announced on our Facebook page starting December 17!

MARP Caring for Rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchling and Nest

Our Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) is currently caring for a rescued loggerhead sea turtle nest of 160 eggs and one live hatchling found on the north end of Assateague Island National Seashore.

baby loggerhead turtle

Baby loggerhead turtle hatchling and egg

The nest, which had been incubating in the sand since the end of July, was excavated by MARP and staff from the National Park Service and Maryland Department of Natural Resources late last month before the arrival of high winds and waves from Hurricane Sandy.

turtle eggs

Rescue staff examining eggs during the excavation

The area off Maryland’s eastern shore never has had a confirmed viable sea turtle nest until now. Our MARP team is working closely with various representatives from North Carolina that are experienced with sea turtle nest incubation and hatchlings, including North Carolina State Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Aquarium, and NC State University, to determine the needs of the nest.

turtle eggs

Turtle eggs being documented

The live turtle hatchling is swimming strongly and enjoying supervised deep dives to build endurance. The baby has become stronger and stronger every day and recently reached a milestone by enjoying its first overnight swim. The MARP team is closely monitoring its health while providing antibiotics as a precaution.

baby turtle

The baby turtle is enjoying supervised swims to build up its strength!

loggerhead turtle hatchling

Loggerhead turtle hatchling

The turtle nest was found in sand that was approximately 66 degrees; low temperatures lessen the success rate of turtle nests. Following the arrival of the nest, our team has raised the temperature of the nest to 80 degrees. The eggs require time, moisture and heat, which the MARP team is providing at our off-site Animal Care Center. So far, there is no activity from the nest itself but we are monitoring it closely. According to North Carolina State Wildlife Resources Commission, the hatch success of loggerhead sea turtle nests in North Carolina is about 75%. Unfortunately, nests laid at higher latitudes have a decreased chance of hatch success, which is due to lower temperatures and increased incubation time.

turtle nest

The area where this turtle nest was found is much colder than the typical turtle nest.

The average incubation time for a loggerhead nest in warmer climates is 70 days. Due to the colder temperatures, nests in the Maryland area require more time, not hatching for more than 100 days. Last year, a nest was found in Delaware that did not hatch until day 109. Information from these nests is being collected and evaluated by the National Aquarium, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the National Park Service, to aid in drafting sea turtle nesting guidelines for Maryland.

turtle rescue

The Marine Animal Rescue Program team continues to care for the young hatchling at our off-site Animal Care Center

National Aquarium team members hope to rehabilitate the young turtle hatchling to a point where it is strong enough to be released. They plan to release it into warmer waters in conjunction with North Carolina State Wildlife Resources Commission and North Carolina Aquarium.

Stay tuned to hear more about this rescue here on our WATERblog!


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