Meet Pip and Scout, NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher's newest members
Last week, the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher announced two new conservation ambassadors that people can now visit.
Pip and Scout are two tiny loggerhead turtles, just a few months old. They’re small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, with big eyes, ridges on their shells, and they’re ready for visitors.
Every year, volunteers comb area beaches for turtles that haven’t yet hatched. These little survivors couldn’t make the journey to the ocean themselves, so they immediately escort most of the hatchlings out to sea.
But two of those turtles go back to the aquarium each year to teach the community about conservation efforts.
When they arrive, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done according to Andy Gould, an educator at the aquarium:
“You can imagine, when they first come in, we want to make sure that they're able to swim, so they are starting in pretty shallow water. And then as we get more confident that they are able to swim we will give them more and more water.”
Pip and Scout are about four inches long now, but they’ll grow up to be five to six feet long and weigh up to 350 pounds. It takes the species 25 years to get to full size, and loggerhead turtles can live up to 80.
After about a year and a half with the aquarium, these two survivors will return to the sea where they will find the Gulf Stream and join their kin in the Atlantic.