Two endangered turtles debut at SEA Aquarium after successful rehabilitation

Green sea turtle being transferred back to the Shipwreck Habitat after being weighed.ST VIDEO: ABIGAIL NG
Hawksbill turtle at the Shipwreck Habitat in SEA Aquarium.
Hawksbill turtle at the Shipwreck Habitat in SEA Aquarium.ST PHOTO: ABIGAIL NG

SINGAPORE - Having rehabilitated swimmingly, two sea turtles made their debut at Resorts World Singapore's SEA Aquarium on Wednesday (May 23).

The endangered green sea turtle and critically endangered hawksbill turtle can both be found in Singapore's waters.

Louie, the green sea turtle, was handed over to the aquarium in September 2015 by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). It weighed only 20g and was estimated to be one week old.

In March 2016, Hawke, a male hawksbill turtle, was given to the aquarium by AVA. Estimated to be between five and eight months old, it had developed a "pyramided" carapace, an irreversible shell deformity attributed to poor nutrition and care.

Since then, aquarists and the animal health team have been monitoring their growth and measuring their weight every month.

Both turtles are fed seafood like fish, squid and prawns, while the green turtle is also fed vegetables.

They were moved from separate, smaller homes at the SEA Aquarium's back-of-house areas to larger habitats, where they were introduced to other species. Now, both turtles are housed in the Shipwreck Habitat.

Curator Akira Yeo said the turtles have yet to reach sexual maturity and are not suitable to be released into the wild.

He said: "They are still in their juvenile stage, so we will continue to provide care and if a suitable release programme is found, we are happy to work with them."