The New England Aquarium is home to three well-known sea turtles—Myrtle, Carolina, and Retread—but that’s just the tip of the turtle iceberg.

Our Quincy Animal Care Facility is the temporary home to hundreds of recuperating sea turtles every year.

Say hello to your old friends and meet just a few of this year’s rescue class in honor of World Turtle Day!

Myrtle

Species: Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Conservation Status: Endangered
Weight: 550 pounds

Often referred to as the queen of the Giant Ocean Tank, this massive turtle has been a resident at the New England Aquarium since 1970. Her favorite foods are brussel sprouts and squid. When she’s not being fed, Myrtle can often be found snoozing on the corals about halfway up the spiral of the Giant Ocean Tank. It’s estimated that she’s between 90 and 95 years old, but she still gets around the tank like a young hatchling! She lives in the Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank.

Retread the Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Retread

Species: Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Weight:
196 pounds

Retread was rescued from a Cape Cod beach 30 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. She was nursed back to health, but rescuers realized she was blind and would never survive in the wild. So today she lives in the Giant Ocean Tank. Divers use a rattle to call her for feeding time. Retread can be identified by the imperfections on her shell, such as the small pockmark behind her left flipper. She lives in the Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank.

Carolina the Loggerhead
Carolina

Species: Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Weight: 152 pounds

Carolina is the smallest of the three turtles in the Giant Ocean Tank. Like all loggerheads, she has a thick neck, pointed beak, and brown-orange shell. When she’s not eating veggies, you may catch her resting at the bottom of the tank. She lives in the Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank.

And now some star members of this year’s Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation class.

Scrambled Eggs, the rescued Kemp's ridley
Scrambled Eggs

Species: Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Location Found: Crosby Landing Beach, Brewster, MA
Date Admitted: October 25, 2018
Admission Weight: 3.5 kg, Release Weight: 4 kg

This turtle was admitted with a significant wound on the left front flipper. Staples were placed along the wound, and laser therapy was applied to promote healing. Scrambled Eggs likes to swim in the outflow and eat an excessive amount of squid! The flipper wound has healed, and she was released in Florida on April 23, 2019.

Toast

Species: Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
Conservation Status:
Vulnerable
Location Found:
Great Island, Wellfleet, MA
Date Admitted: December 5, 2018
Admission Weight: 13 kg, Release Weight: 19.9 kg

Toast was found with three major wounds across the shell, most likely from a propeller strike. Although this is still a significant wound, it never seemed to slow down Toast. Since being admitted, this turtle has been active and eager to eat. The wound healed well, and Toast was released in Florida in April.

grits the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle
Grits

Species: Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Location Found: Skaket Beach, Orleans, MA
Date Admitted: November 30, 2018
Admission Weight: 3.15 kg, Current Weight: 3.3 kg

This turtle is a fighter! Grits suffered from severe pneumonia and had to undergo a major surgery to collect a lung sample. He recently started eating well, and his health is improving. The turtle has responded well to new treatment. Grits is still at the Quincy Animal Care Facility, but is a potential release candidate for summer 2019.

Meet Munchkin, the largest loggerhead ever rescued by the New England Aquarium.

Munchkin the loggerhead sea turtle at the Quincy Animal Care Center
Meet Munchkin
Munchkin

Species: Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Location found:
Great Island, Wellfleet, MA
Date admitted: November 21, 2018
Admission weight: 137 kg, Current weight: 151 kg

Munchkin is the largest loggerhead the New England Aquarium has ever rehabilitated. She was admitted with significant wounds along her right front flipper. She is missing portions of her right front flipper and left hind flipper, possibly from an entanglement. Munchkin enjoys eating herring and looking through her tank window. She looks forward to getting released this summer!

COMING SOON: MUNCHKIN’S JOURNEY!

Starting in June, you will be able to follow along with a very special turtle. Learn what goes into rehabbing a sea turtle, from rescue on the beach to release in the wild, and even follow Munchkin’s journey back to the ocean. One chapter will be released every week.
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