Yearling Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Meet Ozzy, an undeniably adorable rehabilitated Loggerhead Sea turtle yearling (toddler).
As content as Ozzy is today, frolicking and exploring his new exhibit across from the Aquarium’s 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit, his life had a challenging beginning. From the moment sea turtles hatch, they face an uphill battle for survival. Fortunately, aquariums across the country, like Adventure Aquarium, aim to help as many sea turtles as possible. Thanks to an extensive network of organizations, volunteers and aquariums dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating sea turtles, Ozzy’s future is now filled with hope.
Loggerhead Sea turtles often live for decades in the open ocean, but it is their first few minutes of life when they are most vulnerable. Nests deposited on coastal beaches typically hatch from July through October, and as they emerge, the “hatchlings” scramble out of their nests and toward the ocean in a race for life against predators, disorienting light sources and other obstacles. Each year, some of these hatchlings are too weak or disoriented to get to the ocean on their own, as was the case with Ozzy. Thankfully, organizations like the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) and the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores are able give turtles like Ozzy a second chance at life.
WRC volunteers excavated Ozzy from his nest and transported him to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, where aquarists could help him recuperate. As Ozzy began to show improvement, aquarist noticed that he was not growing as rapidly as the others and that his back flippers were slightly deformed. Ozzy also had a condition that caused him to be negatively buoyant – a fancy way of saying that he has a tendency to sink to the bottom. These conditions made Ozzy vulnerable to predation in the wild so he was deemed “non-releasable” by US Fish and Wildlife.
As a permanent member of Adventure Aquarium’s collection, Ozzy will be monitored and well cared for by the Husbandry and Veterinary staff. He will also serve as an ambassador for Loggerhead Sea turtles worldwide, inspiring guests of all ages to admire, and ultimately help protect, sea turtles in the wild.
READ more about Ozzy.
See more pictures and follow his progress on Adventure Aquarium's BLOG.