Loggerhead Turtle Gets Five Star Care At Exploris

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Rescued Loggerhead Turtle on display at Exploris Aquarium.

This weekend, the Loggerhead Turtle which was found washed up on a beach in Co.Donegal two months ago will be going on display at Exploris Aquarium.

The loggerhead turtle, named ‘JC’ by the Johnstone family who took the turtle to their home, arrived at Exploris Aquarium two months ago. Since then it has been receiving round the clock care and is continuing to improve every day.

Peter Williams, curator at Exploris Aquarium, has being working closely with JC since his arrival. He said: “On 14 January the loggerhead turtle arrived at Exploris Aquarium in a critical condition from a beach near Rossbeg, Co.Donegal. Since then we have been working tirelessly to slowly raise the turtle’s temperature by a couple of degrees every day. We also decided, under the watchful eye of our veterinary team, to administer a course of antibiotics as an increase in temperature heightened the risk of a secondary infection setting in.

Peter Williams, Exploris curator and Maria Carbin, aquarist, look on as JC the loggerhead turtle settles down in his tank in Portaferry.

“I am now happy to report that JC is making slow but great progress and is currently feeding well on a variety of fish and invertebrates. He is also receiving a gelatin diet full of calcium, vitamins and minerals which is important for the development of his shell. As JC has taken well to rehabilitation we have decided that it is best for him to be moved to a larger space as he will have more room to swim and dive.

“And we are not sure if JC is a boy or a girl. We don’t want to do any invasive investigations at this stage while se/she is recovering. JC was named by the family who found the turtle on the Donegal… after Julius Caesar.

The loggerhead turtle which was a surprise to the Irish coastlines is currently settling in to his new home where members of the public will be able to get a glimpse of the vulnerable species whilst he continues to recover.

JC, temporarily at home in a tank in Porteferry.

The future is looking bright for JC as the team at Exploris Aquarium will continue to monitor JC’s weight over the coming months and plan to release him back to his natural environment when he has fully recovered.

Furthermore this Sunday at the 5-star visitor attraction, as part of the St.Patrick’s day celebrations, visitors will be treated to snake demos, open pool talks, animal feeding sessions, arts and crafts and a mer-mazing face painter! Pre-book your tickets online for discount at explorisni.com and don’t miss a day full of craic and banter with our underwater and reptilian friends.

Peter Williams added: “JC will be released probably in a few months when a bit heavier. At the moment s/he is eating well or fish and other titbits and is settling down well. So the chances of survival are very positive so far. JC will likely be released in Portugal or the Canaries where the water temperature is much warmer than round our coast. There will be a period of acclimatisation of course before the final release. JC will receive the very best care available.

“At the moment JC weights around 1 1/2 kilos and a leatherhead’s full weight should be around 100 kilos. We don’t handfeed him/her as we do not want the the create any dependency on being fed by a human hand. “