My name is Brittany Biber and I am the Aquarium & Exhibit Specialist at Florida Oceanographic. I am also the head turtle trainer for our three resident sea turtles: Lily, Hank, and Turt. Each of the three turtles have very unique personalities, to say the least.
Turt is our mischievous one. He’s a big softie around people, but the second you turn your back on him or give attention to any of our other turtles he finds anyway he can to get himself into trouble. We had to turtle proof the lagoon just as you would baby proof your home. He keeps us on our toes.
Hank is shy. He is not a fan of deep water and is still adjusting to his new east coast home. He is our smallest turtle at around 50lbs, but don’t let his small size fool you - he’s a brut. When we have to lift him for any reason, it’s like he becomes Popeye after his spinach - strength you wouldn’t expect from a turtle his size. Although, I can't really blame him. I would probably freak out if a turtle double my size tried to pick me up. Hopefully he gets more comfortable as time passes.
Lily is our brand new loggerhead. She is our biggest at
around 115lbs. The best way I can think to describe her is like a Rottweiler.
Anything that goes near her goes right into her mouth, she has even tried to
bite the bowling ball in her tub. We have to be really careful when feeding
her, because her jaws are strong enough to crush a lobster.
Because of the chilly weather, we have currently been housing Turt, Lily and Hank in a temperature controlled tent until the lagoon warms up. Let’s just say they are less then thrilled with this smaller swimming space, but they would be freezing their tails off in the lagoon right now. This may be one of the best times to see our turtles up close. Once they are released into the lagoon they are free to swim around. Resting on the bottom and hiding seem to be some of their favorite things to do and I can’t guarantee they will be easy to find.
Come visit us soon!