Gigi says hello to visitors

After more than 100 people turned out for the ribbon cutting ceremony, Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) Director Cathy Holmes said the visitors just keep on coming averaging about 70 to 80 people a day.

Another 941 folks visited the center throughout its first week. Holmes said visitors of all ages came from a variety of backgrounds including educators, conservationists, tourists and locals.

The sign-in book sports signatures from as far away as New York.

With admission to the center generally costing $5 a person that would average out to about $4,700 in the first week, but NBSTCC board member Yvonne Harper said some admissions would have been discounted or free so the number is not official.

As those visitors pass on through and discussions of the center’s future finances are flushed out, resident sea turtle Gigi has settled in nicely to her new routine.

The NBSTCC has begun training the loggerhead sea turtle how to eat in her new environment.

Feedings occur twice a week in the evening after the center closes for the day. Gigi gets 4.5 pounds of a fishy combination of mackerel, clams, squid and capelin. The clams are then hand- stuffed with turtle vitamins, calcium and vitamin E.

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Feeding turtle

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