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Among the headlines that fit right into 2020, this might be a perfect one. But this story isn’t quite what you think! The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station recently welcomed a new resident to Shark Canyon – Tsunami the sea turtle!
Tsunami is a female green sea turtle who is about 20 years old (estimated by size). She’s fitting right in among our sandbar sharks, lesser devil rays, goliath grouper and pilchards in Shark Canyon, but Tsunami’s journey to the St. Louis Aquarium wasn’t an easy one.
Tsunami arrived in St. Louis on June 23 after a three-year-long stay at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, a facility in Jekyll Island, Georgia, that is dedicated to sea turtle education and rehabilitation. Veterinarians and specialists there worked with Tsunami to rehabilitate her after a boating accident left her with injuries to the left side of her head, jaw and flipper.
While the transition from smaller therapy pools to our 250,000 gallon habitat was a big one for her, Tsunami also got a chance to experience high-flying adventure on her way to us! Thanks to Turtles Fly Too, Inc., a charitable organization that coordinates aviators to support “first responder” relocation efforts for endangered sea turtle rescue operations, Tsunami flew to her home on a private jet!
Speaking of endangered sea turtles, it’s important to note that nearly all species of sea turtles are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with three of the seven species considered critically endangered. The goal is always to rehabilitate injured sea turtles and release them back to their native habitats, but sometimes the injuries are too severe for them to survive on their own. That’s the case with Tsunami, but here at the Aquarium, we can help her live a healthy, happy life while she helps our guests understand the importance of conservation and wildlife preservation efforts.
We hope you’ll come visit Tsunami soon, and share your St. Louis Aquarium experience with us using #TsunamiTurtle