Traveling turtle finds new home in Arizona

turtlesGreen Sea Turtles travel great distances in their lifetime with a range that reaches as far north as the southern coast of Alaska and as far south as Chile. In the water. On land is an unlikely place to find a sea turtle but this week one will settle into her new permanent home at the Sea Life aquarium in Tempe, Arizona.

The green sea turtle, Ziva, sustained serious injuries after being struck by a boat off the coast of Florida in 2010. Ziva has spent the past two years receiving treatment and rehabilitation at the internationally acclaimed Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC). She sustained such extensive damage to her shell and skull that she requires specialized weights to swim and dive correctly. Because of these injuries, Ziva will never be healthy enough to survive in the wild but Sea Life Arizona will provide her a safe and permanent home and will ensure she receives the experienced care she needs.

“Having Ziva at Sea Life Arizona gives our guests the opportunity to see something that can’t be seen anywhere else in the state,” said Hayley Townsend, Sea Life Arizona general manager. “We are excited to help rescue an incredible sea creature and share a message of hope and ocean conservation.”One of the few institutions in the country to comprehensively integrate rehabilitation services with research and education, GSTC offers injured animals, such as Ziva, a second chance at life.

“Our goal is to rehabilitate injured animals and enable them to survive in their natural habitat,” said Dr. Terry Norton, director and veterinarian of GSTC. “In a case like Ziva’s, we wish we could restore her to normal health, but are grateful she will be able to serve as an ambassador for sea turtle education and ocean conservation to the visitors of Sea Life Arizona. We are thankful for partnerships like this that provide an opportunity for these animals to thrive in a new environment.”

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Photo: Sea Life Aquarium