Sea turtle will make move from Georgia Sea Turtle Center to be first of her kind in Arizona
JEKYLL ISLAND - Ziva the green sea turtle has been convalescing at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island but soon will be making her way west to a new home in the hot desert.
Struck by a boat in Florida, the juvenile turtle sustained injuries that prevent her from returning to the open ocean.
“She will be permanently a captive, but she will be a great ambassador for her species,” Sea Turtle Center veterinarian Terry Norton said last during a presentation to the Jekyll Island Authority.
Ziva might seem miscast as a denizen of the Wild West, but the Arizona Sea Life Aquarium in Tempe is flinging its doors open wide to greet her, Norton said.
“She will be the first sea turtle in the state of Arizona,” he said.
“They redid an aquarium to accommodate her. They sent their sharks off to another facility. They’re really happy about having her.”
The aquarium already is heralding Ziva’s impending arrival.
“Sea Life Arizona will bring a rescued sea turtle home to the desert in early 2012!” the aquarium’s website announced. “It will be the first sea turtle in the state, and the excitement already is spreading through the aquarium.”
Ziva’s injuries prevent her from swimming in a normal manner, Norton said, and when she arrived from a Florida facility, she was wearing a life jacket to keep her upright in the water.
One lung only partially inflates as a likely result of her injuries. The resulting unbalanced buoyancy causes her to list to one side.
To compensate, Turtle Center staff glued Velcro strips to her shell, to which they attached weights as counterbalances.
“It allows her to swim normally,” Norton said.
Jekyll Island Authority Executive Director Jones Hooks said Ziva already has begun work as an ambassador of cooperation and good will.
“This is bringing widespread good will and publicity,” he said.
“What’s significant is that Florida, Georgia and Arizona all collaborated on this. It’s a great success story.”
Mike Morrison for the Times-Union
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2011-11-21/story/sea-turtle-will-make-move-georgia-sea-turtle-center-be-first-her-kind#ixzz1iR0D1wPX