Today the New England Aquariumlaunched a new interactive exhibit to showcase the work that turtle rescuers did this fall and winter and teach people about the turtle rescue process. This past winter the hospital saw a record-breaking 733 sea turtles that needed life-saving care.
The exhibit pays tribute to the aquariums story of saving turtles — one of the most endangered species in the world. Tony LaCasse, explained to Metro that the turtle rescuers and their family were invited to tour the exhibit today as a chance to teach their families and friends more about their job.
“We have a lot of our biologist and volunteers here today with their families,” He said. “It’s a wonderful chance for them to see what work their parents are doing to save this endangered species.”
The exhibit lets visitors hear what cold-stunned turtles’ heartbeats sounds like, practice imitation turtle CT scans, surgery, blood work, X-rays and treatments as well as simulate respiratory, skeletal and diagnostic tests. Iris, a five-year old girl using the X-ray scanners, said her favorite part was the turtle diagnosis. “I learned how to take care of them when they are sick and make them better,” she said.
Adam Kennedy, a senior biologist on the Marine Animal Rescue team visited the exhibit with his three boys. “It very accurately depicts how and what we have to do to get these turtles from cold-stunned to hopefully full release,” he said. “And I love the interactivity. It’s unbelievably realistic.”
Volunteer Kat Destefano said how rewarding it was to look around and see people learning from the work that she has done. “I spent all winter trying to explain to people what I do and this is pretty spot-on,” she said. “It’s rewarding to be a part of and to have it recognized in this way”.
Aquarium CEO and President Nigella Hillgrath said, “This is the summer to celebrate sea turtles.”
“After a banner year for our Marine Mammal Rescue Team and their crucial work to protect the endangered sea turtle population, we wanted to build exhibits and an educational program to explain to visitors about the fragile environmental state for sea turtles right here on our shores as well as tout the vital work being done to treat and rehabilitate injured turtles each year here at the New England Aquarium,” Hillgrath said.