We love reporting on new life at the Virginia Aquarium, and today some real cuties were put into their exhibit.
Four sea turtle hatchlings, loggerhead babies from Back Bay, were introduced to their new homes within the Aquarium, where they will remain on exhibit for 12 to 18 months before being returned to the ocean.
They are named Matthew “Pathfinder” Maury, Vagn Ekman, Sir John Murray, and Sylvia Earle. They’re named after influential explorers and oceanographers, and are an integral part of the Aquarium’s sea turtle growth study program.
Every year four loggerhead hatchlings are selected from a nest at Back Bay and brought to the Aquarium for study and public display. Then the turtles get satellite transmitters and are returned to the ocean.
“Loggerhead sea turtles are among the most endangered species of sea turtle, and very little is known about their early years,” said Rachel Metz, Director of Live Exhibits. “Those years, often referred to as the Lost Years, are incredibly important to their development and growth. We are trying to understand not only where they go, but why they go there.”
If you want to see the babies themselves, head to the Aquarium during visiting hours Monday to Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Virginia Aquarium is located at 717 General Booth Blvd. More information on the hatchling program can be found here.