It's World Turtle Day - a time to shellebrate our turtally tubular carapaced compadres! The Two Oceans Aquarium's turtletarian conservation team scuted us all to an offishell party on the roof, and it was flippering incredishell!*
World Turtle Day, in the middle of Turtle Week, is a special day for everyone at the Aquarium. It is a chance for us to thank the diligent and compassionate staff that keep our sea turtle rehabilitation facility running smoothly, and also to appreciate the quirks of the amazing animals that pass through our care on their journey back to the ocean.
Expert-level catering for turtles
But, of course, you are here for cake! So what exactly goes into making a next-level cake for turtles? Moya, Bob and Sandy are all green turtles - mostly vegetarian in nature. But, as they are all recovering, they are going to be needing some extra nutritious snacks.
Official shellebrations began with the unveiling of this year's turtle cake. Once again the team outdid themselves with this multi-level masterpiece.
So what are all those yummy layers made of?
- Purple: Red cabbage
- Turquoise: Peas and cabbage
- Blue: Cabbage
- Lime: Cucumber, peas and seaweed
- Green: Cucumber and peas
- Yellow: Yellow pepper and white mussels
- Orange: Carrots
- Red: Red pepper
The cake was held together with gelatine and nutrient gel, and garnished with veggies from our own rooftop veggie garden. All ingredients are yummy and nutritious for green sea turtles.
With the cake presented it was time for the humans in attendance to tuck in! No, we never ate the turtles' cake, even though it looked so appetising.
Aquarium staff mixed with other "friends of turtles" from throughout the Cape, to share our turtle stories, greet our rehab centre's old favourites Bob and Sandy - and we all kept a careful eye out for I&J Ocean Exhibit newcomer Moya.
The turtle cake was cut by Two Oceans Aquarium Curator Maryke Musson...
The first slice was dished up...
And Bob and Sandy tucked in!
Newcomer Moya was enjoying the quiet on the bottom of her new temporary home, so did not come up for a slice of cake. But, that's OK, Bob ate for two.
The turtle team, made up of dedicated staff, committed volunteers and a passionate Conservation Coordinator, Talitha Noble, were called forward and thanked for another year of outstanding life-saving.
Without intervention, 100% of the turtles in our care now would have died. They could not have survived. Thanks to the commitment of this team, the diligent Turtle Rescue Network and endless citizens doing their part to help stranded turtles, we are able to save the lives of about 80% of turtles that reach our rehab centre's doors.
With love for the ocean, we can make a difference!
Thank you, everyone, who shellebrated World Turtle Day. Wherever you are in the world, a small difference goes a long way.
*No linguists were harmed in the making of these puns.