We’ve been to SEA LIFE Michigan a few times before. The kids love watching the different sea creatures move about their tanks in their own sometimes silly looking ways. I love the beautifully curated tanks filled with bright colors and fun shipwreck-style decor. Even though a visit to SEA LIFE Michigan is a fun day out of the house for our family, it’s not meant to be all about the entertainment factor. After spending the day behind the scenes with SEA LIFE Michigan as they welcomed Carr, an injured green sea turtle, into his new home – I found out that a trip to this delightful aquarium means so much more.
Welcoming Carr to SEA LIFE Michigan | His New Hope and Mission
When we were invited to help welcome Carr to his new at SEA LIFE Michigan, I didn’t quite expect it to have the impact on me that it did. While I knew that sea turtles sometimes were hurt in the wild and needed care, I guess it didn’t really sink in as to what this care would look like. For some injured animals, rescue teams are able to step in to help and then re-release them into the wild. For others, like Carr, full-time care is needed for the rest of their lives. That’s where organizations like SeaLife Michigan step in – to give them new hope and a mission.
Carr is a beautiful 85lb. Green Sea Turtle who was severely injured in a boating accident off the coast of Florida. When Carr was found he had a deformed carapace which resulted in him experiencing persistent floatation issues. The rescue teams at Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida nursed him back to health and placed weights on his body to help him find balance and move under the water as needed to survive. Because he was not eligible for re-release due to his substantial injuries, his next journey in life was to his new home at the SEA LIFE aquarium in Michigan.
Accompanied by one of his caregivers from Gumbo Limbo, Carr arrived at his new home on January 18, 2017. Here he received round-the-clock care and monitoring in a special pool before he was released into the ocean tank on January 24, 2017. As we gathered around his tank to welcome him to his new home, we were delighted when Carr energetically swam into his new 120,000-gallon tank taking it all in at once. As I watched him interact with Benson, the other rescued green sea turtle at SEA LIFE Michigan, I couldn’t help but smile. This is what it is all about.
Carr’s New Mission
Since neither Benson or Carr are able to survive in the wild, they have taken on a new mission – to help raise awareness of the protection and conservation efforts needed to save endangered animals worldwide. The people at SEA LIFE Michigan hope that by welcoming Carr into their facility they can inspire people to take an active role in eliminating human threats.
How You Can Help
Taking care of injured sea animals isn’t easy- it takes specialized care and a lot of funds. Each time you visit a SEA LIFE location, you are helping in these efforts. Also, while I was helping to welcome Carr into his new home, I learned that Kroger made a donation of $1,500 to help in Carr’s healthy eating plan – which consists of fresh vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, and peppers. Go Kroger! Supporting locations like these, that believe in giving back to their communities, is another great way to help.
SEA LIFE Michigan aims to make a difference daily through providing expert care, education, breeding programs, outreach programs and by raising funds for endangered sea life. Learn more about all of their programs at https://www2.visitsealife.com/michigan/
Join Us as We Welcome Carr Home
Sea Turtle Facts:*
- Sea turtles are an endangered species; only 1,000-10,000 of the turtle hatchlings born each year will make it to adulthood – per Sea Turtle Conservancy.
- Sea turtles face natural threats from predators, as well as human-caused threats such as commercial fishing, pollution, beach erosion and illegal hunting.
* facts provided by SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium.