ARIZONA NEWS

Two endangered sea turtles are now home at OdySea Aquarium

Jun 14, 2023, 4:05 AM | Updated: 10:22 am

(OdySea Turtles Teddy and Pow Pow)...

(OdySea Turtles Teddy and Pow Pow)

(OdySea Turtles Teddy and Pow Pow)

PHOENIX — On Tuesday, two of the world’s most endangered sea turtle species found refuge at OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale and now can call it their permanent home.

The rare Kemp’s Ridley male sea turtles are 43 years old. They were named after Arizona lakes, Theodore and Powell. The OdySea Aquarium Animal Care team gave the turtles the nicknames ‘Teddy’ and ‘Pow Pow.’

The turtles were raised at the Cayman Turtle Centre on Grand Cayman Island as part of a breeding program that began in 1980. The program was created in hopes of bringing back the population of the endangered species. This species of sea turtle was at risk of extinction due to hunting and unintentional catching in shrimp trawl fisheries. The species has been listed under the Endangered Species Act due to all of the setbacks caused by humans.

However, since the program was started the Kemp’s Ridley species has made a small comeback. This species is the only true North American species of sea turtles.

Teddy and Pow Pow were brought to Scottsdale in a private plane from Florida, through an organization called ‘Turtles Fly Too.’ Everything needed including the aircraft, fuel and expertise was donated by pilots who wanted to make sure the turtles are flown safely to Scottsdale. This organization is also responsible for flying hundreds of cold-stunned turtles from the northeast to be released into the wild after rehab.

“Being the most endangered sea turtle species globally, their presence at OdySea Aquarium is a testament to our dedication to conservation and education,” Director of Animal Care and Conservation Dave Peranteau said in a press release. “Teddy and Pow Pow inspire us all to protect and preserve our oceans, ensuring a brighter future for all sea turtle species.”

You can find these beautiful animals in the Deep Ocean exhibit alongside the sharks, stingrays and other fish. OdySea Aquarium now hosts a total of eight sea turtles and is continuing to add more. To purchase admission tickets, visit odyseaaquarium.com.

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Two endangered sea turtles are now home at OdySea Aquarium