Meet Tortellini! This green sea turtle has an amazing story of survival that eventually led to her current home at Sobela Ocean Aquarium. Tortellini was rescued in February 2020 after she was found floating near Spring Hill, Florida. She had a healed wound on her carapace, or shell, where Tortellini was likely struck by a boat, causing buoyancy issues and affecting the use of the hind flippers.
At Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Tortellini was one of their most “spunky” patients. Unfortunately, due to her buoyancy disorder, she was eventually deemed non-releasable by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Clearwater staff focused their efforts on helping Tortellini prepare for the day she would have a permanent home. They created an environmental enrichment device (EED), which helped Tortellini dive down to deeper depths. Tortellini is quite a smart girl and is now trained to freely swim into a basket that is used to remove her from her pool!
Green sea turtles are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List due to issues like habitat loss, hunting, vessel strikes, and disease. Sea turtles are now protected under the Endangered Species Act, which was established by the federal government to conserve endangered and threatened species.
With your support you not only help the animals, like Tortellini, here at the Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium, but through conservation efforts led by the Kansas City & Aquarium all over the world.