Now through August 14, we are celebrating the birthday of Charleston’s favorite loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta! The sassy and spunky star of the Great Ocean Tank is turning 28 and she will be treated to a special fishy birthday cake. Share in the celebration by signing her birthday card!
Caretta joined the Aquarium family in 2001 when she was fourteen years old, and since then she’s been stealing the hearts of visitors and Aquarium staff alike. Caretta was born in captivity after being taken from a nesting site on a Florida beach by a couple who wanted to keep her as a pet. Taking hatchlings from the beach is illegal because loggerheads are endangered, and they do not make suitable pets because of their size. The couple realized this as Caretta soon grew out of the small enclosure she was kept in and she was brought to the Aquarium du Quebec in Canada. From there, Caretta was brought to her permanent home at the South Carolina Aquarium where she has made quite the name for herself. Caretta enjoys life in the Great Ocean Tank and some of her favorite activities are taking part in daily enrichment, napping on the coral reef, and of course – feeding time!
Loggerhead sea turtles are fascinating and beautiful creatures that are, sadly, listed as an endangered species internationally. The greatest threat to this species is the loss of nesting habitat caused by coastal development. South Carolina, especially the Charleston area, is home to multiple nesting beaches that are vital to the species’ survival. In honor of Caretta’s birthday, you can help ensure a successful nesting season by minimizing beachfront lighting, cleaning trash off the beach, leaving turtles’ nests and tracks undisturbed, keeping your dog leashed on the beach and, if you are lucky enough to witness turtle hatchlings, enjoy the sight from afar and don’t disturb the babies on their journey back to the big old blue! You can also help support the efforts of our Sea Turtle Rescue Program by adopting one of our patients being treated in the Sea Turtle Hospital. For more information, click here.
Visit the South Carolina Aquarium during the week of August 10-14 to wish Caretta a happy birthday by signing her birthday card. You can also join the birthday fun by writing a birthday message on our Facebook page here: https://goo.gl/VFZRZ4.