With World Turtle Day behind us, the incredible turtle-friendly cake that was made to be enjoyed by our favourite carapaced companions, Bob, Sandy and Yoshi, has gained a lot of attention.

“Turtle day exists for two reasons in my mind: Firstly, to raise conservation awareness for these incredible dinosaurs of the sea and secondly, to celebrate, appreciate and show love to our own darling turtles! It's THEIR day to be spoiled and it was our intention to do just that. This year we decided to do so with a cake containing all of Bob and Sandy's favourite things, but who knows what we may do next year!?” – Talitha Noble, Turtle Rehab Facility Coordinator

We never need an excuse to celebrate these underwater marvels. But where did our turtle team get such inspiration?

Crash course in catering for turtles

So how do you make a cake for sea turtles? The first thing to consider is the turtle's diet: Bob the green turtle is a herbivore. Sandy is also a herbivorous green turtle, but she craves meat to help heal her damaged carapace. Yoshi is an omnivorous loggerhead turtle, but who’s diet is primarily carnivorous.

With this in mind, the layers of the cake were planned:

  • An upper orange layer of red and yelllow peppers
  • Light green layer of raw peas and green pepper
  • A nutrient-rich jelly layer, crammed full of cucumber
  • A red layer of raw squid jelly
  • Bottom layer full of raw white mussel meat

These layers were individually set in gelatine, similar to the turtle-pizzas that we use to feed them usually, and would allow the vegetarian part of the cake to be separated for Bob.

A dash of inspiration

But our highly creative turtle team did not stop there, a garnish of our sustainably grown rooftop lettuce, spiralised carrot confetti and gelatine turtles was added for aesthetics.

For our human friends, turtle themed cupcakes were served.

Time for celebration

With all the Aquarium staff gathered on the roof, it was time to share the cake with the turtles. Our trained turtle team entered the medical pool of the I&J Oceans Exhibit, and waited for the turtles to approach.

Part of our turtle rehabilitation goal is to release these turtles once they have recovered. With this in mind, our staff always hold out a colour-coded target for the turtle to associate with food. This is to prevent them from swimming up to strangers once released, potentially being poached or harmed.

Bob and Sandy immediately swam up to enjoy their slices of cake.

The giant and graceful Yoshi, stoic and stubborn as always, awaited feeding time with the dive team later that day.

Let’s not forget the purpose of this celebration

As fun as an event like this is, it’s a good time to reflect on the plight of these majestic creatures – six of the world’s seven sea turtle species are threatened with extinction.

We are glad that the popularity of ‘turtle cake’ was able to get the message of World Turtle Day to an audience of excited and curious citizens.

Want to know more about sea turtles, or learn about why World Turtle Day was so significant. Find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about turtles here.

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