Wild Encounters: Green Sea Turtle

Wild Encounters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) – Today we’re going to be taking a journey to check out a brand new sea turtle.

We are here with Kendra Bottini, Senior Aquarist, at Riverbanks Zoo to find out more.

Kendra Bottini, Senior Aquarist: “So, we have Journey with us today and Journey is out Green Sea Turtle. Green Sea Turtles are one of the species here found in South Carolina and with Logger Heads and Journey is about one year old…a little over…and he’s been with us since he was about a day old and he’ll be staying here at Riverbanks for about the next year. Typically, we take sea turtles for one to two years and then, after that point, they’re of a good size and can be released into the wild confidently on their own. We work with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to help us monitor their health and growth and once that two year period is up and it’s the right time of year, Journey will get tagged…he will get a flipper tag, which is an I.D. number and he’ll get a hit tag…the one similar to the one dogs and cats get…it’s like a microchip…and he’ll be released into the water and go back on his journey home.”

What’s the importance of having this kind of program?

Kendra: “It’s important because Journey is now an animal ambassador for the Green Sea Turtle species. Visitors that come to Riverbanks Zoo can see what a Green Sea Turtle looks like, they can join us as this turtle grows, and we get to watch it for the next two years or so.”

How big do you think Journey will get?

Kendra: “Every turtle is different. We’ve had some that grow fast and some that grow slow; but I’d say no more than 10 pounds. Usually that first year they grow weight wise, in the way we think of weight, relatively slowly; but in the next year you’ll really see the turtle thrive, especially since he’s going on exhibit.”

If you want to see Journey up close and personal, you don’t have to go far. Just visit Riverbanks Zoo and see them for yourselves.

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