All the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank get checkups—even Myrtle the green sea turtle.

She was hoisted out of the tank this morning for her biannual checkup, and vets gave the old lady a clean bill of health.

Myrtle has a special new hoist box that’s large enough to accommodate her comfortably. Divers coax Myrtle to swim into the box with the promise of a squid snack. Once in, they strap the box to a heavy-duty hoist and slowly pull it out of the water while the water drains through the holes at the bottom of the box. That’s when they take a quick measure of her weight. She weighs 544 pounds today!

Once the box is maneuvered over the deck and placed on the ground, the animal care staff can fold down the edges and examine the patient. They do blood draws and ultrasounds to check on her insides. They inspect her shell, eyes, mouth, and skin for any irregularities. 

Myrtle checkup
Our head veterinarian Charles Innis uses an ultrasound to examine Myrtle

The whole exam took just 20 minutes, and Myrtle was back swimming in the Giant Ocean Tank soon after. At around 90 years old, this beloved green sea turtle is expected to have many healthy years ahead!

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There’s lots more to learn about Myrtle and the other residents of the Giant Ocean Tank on our blog!