She has finally arrived.
The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center’s (NBSTCC) newest resident, an adult female loggerhead sea turtle, moved into her new 15,000 gallon tank Wednesday, July 20.
Rescued by Sea World Orlando, the turtle’s shell measured 2 feet 7.5 inches long and she weighs almost 200 pounds. It is unclear how old she is, but estimates would make her at least 30 years old.
Although Animal Care Supervisor Morgan McCallen said she is excited for the public to meet the sea turtle, she cautioned that the center is closed to the public until the turtle has acclimated to her new environment.
“We want to have a grand opening when she’s fully adjusted,” McCallen said. “Hopefully soon, but we do not want to put any time pressure on the turtle.”
Part of that settling in is feeling out the shape and size of her new home as the sea turtle is completely blind.
She was found stranded on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, Fla. in Nov. 26 1998 and sent to Sea World Orlando for rehabilitation.
“She was found under weight, completely covered in barnacles and blind,” McCallen said.
It is unclear what caused the turtle to lose her sight, but she would not have survived in the wild. Sea World staff nursed her back to health, and after more than a decade of care they have entrusted her to the NBSTCC.
For more information on the newest addition to the NBSTCC and the history of the center pick up this week’s issue of the Navarre Press.